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The FA

U17s' Euro squad announced

Young Lions boss Steve Cooper names selection for Euro U17 finals

Friday 28 Apr 2017

Steve Cooper has urged his Young Lions to embrace a unique opportunity as England prepare for the UEFA European U17 Championship finals.

The 18-man squad will travel to Croatia and open their campaign against Norway in Velika Gorica on Thursday 4 May before facing Ukraine is Sesvete on Sunday 7 May and Netherlands in Zapresic three days later.

Eleven of the squad helped England sail through their elite qualifying round group – where they won all three matches, against Czech Republic, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Slovenia – while there is also space for goalkeeper Curtis Anderson, defender Jake Vokins, midfield trio Aidan Barlow and Alexander Denny plus attackers Emile Smith-Rowe and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Spurs' Reo Griffiths has also been drafted in as a late replacement for midfielder Angel Gomes, who was withdrawn injured days before the trip.

Cooper said: “It's a major privilege for the boys to play at a major finals.

“This opportunity might only come around once or twice in a player's career so they must make the most of it.

“A number of these players have been a part of the group from the start of the season and they have done really well to get us to the finals.

“We're really happy with the squad that we're taking to Croatia and we're looking forward to what the tournament has in store for us.”

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He continued: “When we met for the first time in August we talked about what we wanted to achieve throughout the season.

“One of those objectives was qualifying for Croatia, and now we're there we are really excited about how we can finish our journey.

“Qualification went well. Both rounds of qualifying brought different challenges but we overcame them well.

“I know we're all excited about meeting up again and heading to a major tournament for the first time.

“The time has come to deliver when it counts.”

This season’s Euro finals act as a qualifying competition for the FIFA U17 World Cup which is being staged in India in October, with five European places up for grabs.

But Cooper has warned his players to not think too far ahead.

He added: “It's very much about controlling the controllables and taking it step by step.

“The first step is to get out of a difficult group. We know if we do well then the World Cup is there for us but we can't look too far ahead.”

England have an excellent recent record in the U17 Euros, winning the tournament in 2010 and 2014.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Curtis Anderson (Manchester City), Josef Bursik (AFC Wimbledon)

Defenders: Timothy Eyoma (Tottenham Hotspur), Lewis Gibson (Newcastle United), Marc Guéhi (Chelsea), Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea), Jake Vokins (Southampton)

Midfielders: Aidan Barlow (Manchester United), Alexander Denny (Everton), Reo Griffiths (Tottenham Hotspur)*, George McEachran (Chelsea), Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Tottenham Hotspur)

Forwards: Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), Philip Foden (Manchester City), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Daniel Loader (Reading), Jadon Sancho (Manchester City), Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal).

* Replaces Angel Gomes (Manchester United) who is withdrawn injured.
By Glenn Lavery