Captain looks back on Colombian campaign and ahead to the future.
By Nicholas Veevers in Bogota
As England U20s captain Jason Lowe
and his squad-mates prepare to fly home from Colombia on Thursday evening, the midfielder took time to look back at the last month or so and how it's been something of a career changing experience for him.
The Blackburn Rovers player had only won one cap for the Young Lions prior to the World Cup, against France earlier this year,
after previously missing out on the European U19 Championship Finals last year through injury.
But his attitude, ability and character around the group has been a key component of this World Cup adventure and duly impressed Head Coach Brian Eastick enough to select him as his skipper for the World Cup.
After flying the first leg of the trip home from Armenia to capital Bogota on Thursday morning, before connecting back home to Europe later on, Lowe explained how he feels the whole group should be satisfied with what they have achieved in South America given the circumstances.
"We can look back on this with pride, without a doubt," he told TheFA.com
"We only came together three or four weeks ago and had a short time to prepare for a major tournament like this and it is a huge competition.
"Of course it's disappointing that we've got to the last 16 and then gone out, because of the amount of effort that's gone into it from everyone concerned, the staff right down to the players.
"We all gave it everything we've got, but that's football and you have to learn from these things and it can only make you stronger as a player and a person.
"It's been an unbelievable experience for me personally and I know it's been the same for the other boys too.
"For me to captain the team, my country, at a World Cup has been something that I'll never forget and it's something that I hope will only benefit me in the future.
"I think it will be the same for the rest of the lads, whether they've played or not played out here and it can only benefit their careers from here."
Ironically, Lowe feels that the Second Round game with Nigeria on Thursday was perhaps the team's best performance of the competition along with the draw against Argentina, but the lack of goals ultimately cost them dear.
"I think we played as well as we have done in the second half, but it was a contrast of two halves really," he said. "We created a load of chances in the second half, but we didn't take them and it's the same at any level of football, as at some point you're going to get punished and we did.
"You could say that we deserved to get something out of the game, but I don't think we can say that we deserved to outright win the game.
"But you win some and you lose some, so we just have to move on."
Lowe now returns to Ewood Park, where he is looking at adding to his experience with more regular first team football there after making his debut for Rovers last season as well as impressing in a loan spell with Oldham Athletic.
As well as that, he also wants to enhance his international career and is eyeing up a spot in Stuart Pearce's Under-21 squad over the coming season.
"That's the plan now," he revealed.
"Stuart has been out here with us so it's been a fantastic opportunity to show him what I'm about, both on and off the field.
"But I'm just going to go back to club football now and get my head down, work hard and continue doing what I'm doing so we'll see what happens."