Danny Welbeck excited by England's young stars ahead of Euro 2012
Last updated on .From the section Football
Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck says he is excited to be part of a vibrant new generation of England players hoping to make it to next summer's European Championship.
England manager Fabio Capello has spoken in glowing terms about the number of youngsters coming through the ranks.
Their emergence has renewed hope after the despair of England's surrender in the last 16 of the World Cup against Germany in 2010.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Welbeck said: "It's very exciting times really. Obviously, there have been a lot of youngsters picked in a few recent squads. All of us are just looking forward to playing our part and doing our best to improve."
He came on as a second-half substitute in the surprise 1-0 victory over world champions Spain at Wembley last Saturday, but a thigh injury kept him out of Tuesday night's win against Sweden.
"I was gutted not to be involved in the Sweden game," he said. "That's football and it's life. I've got to deal with it and come back stronger."
Like so many youngsters who make the breakthrough at Old Trafford, the 20-year-old striker has his feet fixed firmly on the ground. However, when asked if next year's tournament in Ukraine and Poland is on his radar, his answer is unequivocal.
"Yes, definitely, but I just want to get my mind set on having a good season for United and carry on improving myself as a player. Hopefully, I will then get picked for the Euros in the summer," he said.
Welbeck was speaking to BBC Sport on a visit to his old school, Trinity Church of England High in Manchester. He was there to hand out new football strips as part of the Premier League Players' Kit Scheme.
Every first-team player has donated £1,000 each to a £500,000 fund to pay for football kit and equipment for youngsters across the country.
"When I was at school, we never really got anyone coming into school to dish out new kit," he said. "They're all buzzing about that. It's great motivation for them to see a professional footballer coming into school and it's nice for me to come back."
Welbeck insists there is no alarm in the United ranks despite local rivals Manchester City having built up an impressive five-point lead at the top of the table.
"We are not panicking," he said. "We are just going to keep playing our game and not looking at other teams. We will continue going into every game looking to get three points."