Brandy's glass half full
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Unfortunately, injuries are part and parcel of football. However, it is always especially disappointing when a young player learning his trade suffers one which puts his career in jeopardy. That is precisely what happened to England's Febian Brandy, who suffered a broken leg while on duty for the Three Lions four years ago.

However, the forward has bounced back from his injury heartache and used it to spur him on to achieve greater things. He has enjoyed successful loan spells at Swansea City and Hereford United and now finds himself back at hometown club Manchester United, battling for a place in the first team alongside fellow youngsters such as Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck.

However, he has been given leave by Red Devils' supremo Sir Alex Ferguson to represent his country at Egypt 2009 and intends to take his chance on the global stage with both hands.

"The injury something I'll always remember," he told FIFA.com. "I was playing against USA and I was hit by a really bad tackle. I was playing in my first big tournament for England and it really set my career back by four or five months.

"To be honest, I was worried about whether I'd be the same player afterwards. I'd known of professionals who had broken their legs before and never really recovered. It was my first major injury and I didn't know how to deal with it, but my team-mates and the physios at United, together with my family, helped me through it - and here I am.

"That's football, isn't it? Things can change with the click of a finger and I'm just delighted that I'm here. If I'm picked to play, these will be the biggest matches of my life. It's a huge, worldwide tournament - and the fact that it's a World Cup gives it extra significance. It's a massive opportunity for me to show what I can do."

Some great players have played in this competition in the past, such as Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and Michael Owen - and it's an honour to follow in their footsteps.
England forward Febian Brandy.

The significance of the FIFA U-20 World Cup is not lost on Brandy who scored two goals for England's U-20 side in their 5-0 win over Montenegro in their recent friendly.

"This is the second biggest tournament in the world and we as a team want to show people what we're capable of," continued the 20-year-old. "Obviously, some great players have played in this competition in the past, such as Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and Michael Owen - and it's an honour to follow in their footsteps. Other players have used it as a springboard - and I hope to do the same."

Now the youngster's sights are firmly fixed on the first match against Uruguay on Saturday evening and ending an embarrassing record. England have gone 581 minutes over a period of 12 years without scoring in this tournament - and Brandy is hoping to be one to end the drought.

"Hopefully I'll be the man, but if I don't score on Saturday, I just hope that one of the other lads does," he smiled.  "We want to do well in the tournament - and to do that we'll need to score goals."