Harry Kane, the 30-year-old forward currently playing for Bayern Munich, has suggested that his participation in a boot camp alongside Britain’s Royal Marines could have played a role in him being named England’s captain in 2017.
Since assuming the captaincy, Kane has guided England to the final of the European Championship and two knockout-stage appearances in the World Cup.
“We learned to put up our own tents and had the rations that the Marines have when they’re going to war,” Kane told reporters. “We woke at sunrise and did a trek with all the stuff on our backs. Then we did an obstacle course, which was fun, though I think they left out some of the tougher parts.”
“We had to follow the Marines. Whenever they shouted ‘Down,’ we had to crawl in the mud, through stone and into a tunnel full of sheep dip. [By the end] we were all soaking wet, with sand and mud everywhere, and thought we were going to get in a car and go back to camp – until they told us we were walking back, which was another hour on the road.
“That was probably the hardest part, it was mentally tough. Then we got back to the place where we were staying and I was looking forward to a nice, hot shower — and it was just a bit of water dripping out.”
He added: “I think Gareth [Southgate] did use that trip to see who stood out in terms of leadership and maybe it was the way I got on with the Marines and handled certain situations.
“I know he asked some of the Marines who they thought were natural leaders, who were approachable, and who other players were leaning towards to talk to, and that might have helped me becoming captain.”
Despite being defeated 1-1 on Saturday by Ukraine, England still leads Group C with 13 points after five games.
On Tuesday at Hampden Park, they play a friendly match against Scotland.