Brooking hails 'fantastic' achievement
Monday, 31 May, 2010
Sir Trevor Brooking congratulates U17s on clinching Euro crown.
UEFA European U17 Championship
Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz
By Glenn Lavery in Liechtenstein
FA Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking was in Austria with the England senior team as they prepared for yesterday’s 2-1 win over Japan.
Brooking, though, never got to see that game. Instead, he had travelled from the Irdning training base to Liechtenstein to watch John Peacock’s Young Lions lift England’s first-ever European U17 title. They came from a goal down to defeat two-time winners Spain and Brooking saluted the achievement.
“It’s fantastic for everyone involved,” he said.
“I’m obviously delighted for the players and the coaching staff, but, also for everyone at The FA because our men’s teams have started to compete in the latter stages of tournaments now and we lost two European Finals [U19 and Under-21] last summer, so to get to this one and win it, with a group who we always thought were very good, is brilliant.”
Brooking was pleased to see so many players putting in a performance befitting of a Final and he believes acquiring a taste for victory at such a young age can only stand them in good stead in the future.
“Spain had some very good players, obviously, but, wherever you look there were good performances from our players as well,” he said.
“I thought our two central defenders were outstanding. Nat[haniel Chalobah] is still only 15-and-a-half and he was playing against players that are nearly two whole years older than him. He was excellent. Connor Wickham put in another good performance up top, getting a great winner, to add to his two in the semi-final, but, more than anything it was a great team performance and you can see this group have got a great team spirit.
“It is important to get that taste of winning early on [in their careers] and I can see how much they enjoyed it, but, we must remember that it’s just a little sample for them. There’s still a long way to go in their development.
“Having said that, it’s really good for this group because it has whetted their appetite. They know what it feels like and they now know they can do it. Hopefully there will be a few of these that will progress into the Under-21 and senior teams.
“It’s a long time since an England men’s side won a European title and that’s a magnificent achievement. Let’s hope it rubs off on the senior team ahead of the World Cup.”
Alex Horne, General Secretary of The FA, added: "I would like to congratulate John Peacock and the team on this outstanding achievement.
"It was a great game to watch and to see this young set of players show as much character as they did, to come from a goal down to another top class European nation, was really heartening.
"It's an excellent start to what we all hope will be a great summer, and adds to the achievements of last year when a host of our teams in both the men's and women's game made it to finals."