Head Coach Noel Blake happy as England qualify for third successive U20 World Cup.
By Nicholas Veevers in Estonia
England U19s Head Coach Noel Blake saw his squad achieve their second objective of the campaign on Friday, as the 2-1 victory over Serbia
was enough to clinch a place in next summer’s FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey.
The qualification process for the World Cup in Europe is decided through performance in the UEFA European U19 Championship, with the top six sides in that tournament automatically taking their place in the World Cup which occurs every two years.
Goals from Benik Afobe
and Nathan Redmond
in Rakvere, Estonia mean that England cannot finish lower than third place in their group at the Euros, thus taking their place amongst Europe’s top six in this season’s U19s campaign.
It is the third successive U20 World Cup that England have qualified for, following similar achievements at the Euro Finals in 2008 (Czech Republic) and 2010 (France) which took them to Egypt 2009 and then Colombia 2011.
Last year, Brian Eastick
took charge of the U20s in Colombia, where England emerged from their group against the likes of Argentina, Mexico and DPR Korea only to narrowly lose 1-0 to Nigeria in the Second Round. From that squad, the likes of Adam Smith
, Jason Lowe
and Jack Butland
have all progressed into the Under-21 squad and beyond, with Butland travelling to the senior European Championship Finals earlier this summer.
And in Saido Berahino
, who came on as a substitute against Serbia, the U19s already have one player who has experienced an U20 World Cup after he travelled to Colombia as an under-age player last August.
Now, England will head to Turkey for the tournament which takes place between 21 June and 13 July 2013 and Blake was delighted with that news, before setting his squad their next challenge at the Euros in Estonia.
“That was the next achievement we were aiming for after qualifying for the Finals and that’s what we set out to do,” he explained.
“So that’s great and I’m delighted with that and for everyone concerned.
“It’s great for the nation to qualify for another World Cup, that’s the third time on the trot that we’ve done that so it’s terrific for the lads in the year group.
“So that’s one more job done and we’re now looking to finish the next job off and reach the semi-final here.”
England U19s play France in their final group game in Estonia on Monday 9 July, where a win or draw will be enough to secure a place in the semi-finals of the Euros.