Young lions can flourish at u17 euro finals on home soil says Gareth SouthgatePublished Friday, 13th April 2018
Having experienced playing for England in a tournament on home soil, Gareth Southgate knows better than most what lies in store for the Young Lions this May.
The Three Lions boss was part of the England squad which reached the semi-final of Euro 96, a tournament which caught the imagination of the public captured perfectly by the anthem ‘Football’s Coming Home’.
And while the 2018 U17 Euro Finals - which take place across the Midlands and South Yorkshire next month - will be a much more low key affair, Southgate believes the exposure will provide a good experience for the players involved.
“For our youngsters to have a tournament on home soil is a great honour, first and foremost, but it’s also a great learning curve,” said Southgate, who was at last week’s draw at St. George’s Park.
“They’ll have to deal with a little bit more attention and a little bit more focus on them as a team.
“But these tournaments are a great experience and part of the pathway for us in getting players ready for the senior team.”
Steve Cooper’s side will face opposition from Israel, Italy and Switzerland in their group games, after which they will be hoping to qualify for the knock-out stages.
And after success for a number of England’s younger teams last season, with titles at the U20 and U17 World Cups and U19 Euros to add to the U17 Euro titles won in 2010 and 2014, Southgate is hoping that momentum will continue into this year at development and senior level.
“We’ve had success at U17 level a couple of times in recent years and last year at U19 and U20 as well,” added Southgate, who is currently plotting June's trip to the World Cup in Russia.
“That means there’s some consistency in the way we’re working.
“There’s a plan at St. George’s that is starting to deliver and we have to take that forward into the senior team as well.”
See the stars of tomorrow in the UEFA European Under-17 Championship, right here on your doorstep. Matches taking place at Rotherham’s New York Stadium are as follows:
- Tuesday 8 May - 7pm* (Bosnia & Herzegovina v Belgium)
- Thursday 10 May - 7pm* (England v Switzerland)
- Sunday 13 May - 2pm* (Quarter-final)
- Thursday 17 May - 1pm* (Semi-final)
- Sunday 20 May - 6pm* (Final)
*Kick-off times are subject to change.
All tickets now on sale from just £4 Adults / £2 Children
For tickets and more information, go to the FA website.