English talent is starting to deliver, says Southgate

Monday 19 May 2014
Gareth Southgate in training with his England Under-21s squad
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Gareth Southgate was delighted to see England U17s secure their spot in the European Championship Final on Sunday and restated his faith in the growing depth of homegrown talent.

The Under-21s head coach has spent time with John Peacock’s squad this season, taking in games in Azerbaijan, Czech Republic and Malta at each stage of their qualification process this season.

And after sending a video message to the Young Lions ahead of Sunday's semi-final win over Portugal, he was pleased to see them reach Wednesday’s final against Holland, while travelling to Swansea with his own squad ahead of Monday’s U21 Euro qualifier with Wales at the Liberty Stadium.

England v Holland

UEFA European U17 Championship
The Final
6pm, Wednesday 21 May 2014
National Stadium, Malta
Live on Eurosport


"It’s really exciting and we’re seeing it in all the different age groups," said Southgate. 

"There is a real depth starting to shine through and you can see that with the group of players we have here with the Under-21s.

"Three of the players we’ve had this season have gone up to the seniors, which is brilliant and it gives a chance for others to come in and show what they can do."

After seeing the fortunes of various England development teams over the years, with the U17s winning their Euros in 2010, the U19s losing a Euro Final in 2009 and the Under-21s losing their equivalent in 2009, Southgate believes the key point is really how the players can develop further with their clubs.

And this season a number of top-flight clubs have utilised their younger players, which Southgate believes will re-enforce belief in young English talent.

"Lots of clubs have put their faith in young English players this year and have had success in doing it," he added.

"Liverpool, Everton and Southampton in the Premier League have done so, and Derby County in the Championship too. 

"QPR are in the play-offs, partly because Ravel [Morrison] has gone there and made a really good impact.

"That will give managers confidence to put young players in."

The Euro U17 Final takes place at the National Stadium in Malta on Wednesday evening, kicking-off at 6pm.

By Nicholas Veevers in Swansea