ENGLAND HOPE FOR MORE UNDER-AGE SUCCESS

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England are set to continue the work that has brought them recent successes in age grade tournaments. The nation was excited when the Under-20 side won the World Youth Championship in June. The Under-19 side won the continental European championships and the Under-21 side reached the last four of the UEFA tournament.

The Under-17 side have been drawn into a group for the forthcoming FIFA U-17 World Cup in India in October. The England manger of that age grade Steve Cooper has reportedly reached the FA team and plans are underway to ensure the country continues to enjoy its new found momentum in age grade events.

Whilst some players have come through since the U-19s stormed to the Final a few years ago (most notably Ben Foster), the pathway to the top has sometimes been difficult for youngsters looking to make their mark. You can see Foster in action at The Hawthorns by getting tickets from this link but you wonder how many of the victorious U17 team will be playing at the top level in 10 years time.

The masterplan was initiated at the National Football Centre, St George Park back in 2012. The £105 million facility houses the 24 national teams, making it easy for consolidated efforts towards building competent feeder teams for the senior squad.

“It’s an inspiration and a motivation to everybody connected with English football. That’s not just the national teams because it’s great recognition for the clubs and academies in England that they’re doing a really good job in producing the players. We hope it’s the start of things to come,” a hopeful Cooper said.

Cooper added that St George’s Park close to Burton-upon-Trent has been “a massive help” as it brings everyone together. He added that the leadership of Dan Ashworth, Matt Crocker and Gareth Southgate I making everything tick.

In India, England would face Iraq, Mexico and Chile. Cooper says it is “a strong group” and that he expected it as it is the World Cup. He added that everyone was excited that India were hosting the event so the team was looking at enjoying their time there. Hopefully the Under-17 side can match the recent strides of other age grade English teams.