Ashworth points to Kane as inspiration for England DNA

Saturday 28 Feb 2015
Dan Ashworth has been impressed by the development of Harry Kane
FA Technical Director Dan Ashworth has hailed the development of England Under-21s and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane.

The 21-year-old has set the Premier League alight with his goalscoring form this season, as well as forming a key part of Gareth Southgate’s Under-21 squad.

Kane has previously represented the Three Lions at U17, U19 and U20 level and featured in the U19 Euro Finals of 2012 and the U20 World Cup in 2013.

Harry Kane battles for the ball

Harry Kane has played for England at U17, U19, U20 and Under-21 level over the last five years

He has also spent time learning his trade on a domestic front with successful loan spells with the likes of Leyton Orient, Millwall and Leicester City.

During that time, former England team-mates such as Ross Barkley, Luke Shaw, John Stones and Saido Berahino have already gone on to earn senior call-ups.

But Ashworth believes that the patience shown by club, country and the player himself have all aided his pathway to the Spurs first-team and a possible call-up to Roy Hodgson’s senior squad next month.

"I don’t think there’s a set route, some of them mature early at 17 or 18 and burst onto the scene like Luke Shaw, Raheem Sterling and Wayne Rooney," explained Ashworth.

"Harry has taken a different route into it and some players do take a little bit longer - you don’t have to burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old and be in the first-team at an early age.

Watch Kane and England team-mates practising free-kicks


"He has been out on several loans before Tim Sherwood put him in the Spurs team towards the back end of last season and he’s grabbed the opportunity with both hands and has been a consistent performer this year."

One thing that has always stood out in Kane’s time with the Three Lions over the years has been his attitude and application.

A meticulous trainer, it’s not unusual for Southgate and assistant coach Steve Holland to have to urge him off the training pitches at St. George’s Park from practising after sessions with the Under-21s.

And it’s those attributes which make Kane the sort of player integral to the England DNA philosophy introduced by Ashworth last December.

"It’s lovely to see players like Harry, who is such a wonderful kid as well, break through," he added.

"He’s a serious professional and he works so hard, certainly when he’s been away with England, and he’s been in the system for quite a long time.

"My first experience of Harry was seeing him in the U20 World Cup in Turkey, but he’s always been consistent in the fact that his application and attitude for any game or training session has always been first class.

“He’s a serious professional and he works so hard.”

Dan Ashworth FA Technical Director

"Certainly since I’ve been here, I don’t remember him pulling out or being unavailable for selection and that’s pretty much the same with Tottenham as well.

"We’ve been patient with him and Tottenham have been patient with him and he looks like he’s in a really good place at the moment, scoring goals in a successful team - they’ve done a wonderful job with him."

With the Under-21s now focusing on this summer’s Euro Finals in Czech Republic, Southgate will be hoping to have the option of Kane leading the line for his side.

And regardless of whether the Chingford-born hitman is picked by Hodgson before then, Ashworth believes the Euros will be the ideal stage for Kane to further illustrate his talent.

"If he goes, he will benefit immensely as it’s the best eight teams in Europe and it’s a top tournament, an intense tournament," claimed the former West Bromwich Albion director of football. 

Harry Kane celebrates his goal against France.

Kane and able: Harry celebrates a goal for England U19s at the Euro Finals in Estonia in 2012

"It’s the next best tournament to the senior one and the nearest thing they will get to hopefully going on to the Euro Championship with the seniors as well.

"It’s our duty as a national association to try and get our best players to go to every single tournament because we want to go to tournaments and win them.

"But first and foremost he has to continue doing what he’s been doing with Tottenham, playing really well and scoring goals.

"That will give him the opportunity and if he continues to do what he’s doing, I’m sure that [senior call-up] will happen at some stage.

"But he’s been involved with the Under-21s and part of a really impressive qualification so I’m sure Gareth would love to have him this summer."

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels