Jack Butland pays tribute to coach who gave him 'freedom'

Wednesday 25 Mar 2015
England keeper Jack Butland
Jack Butland has backed the man who gave him “freedom and licence” to show his capabilities on the international stage to lead England Under-17s to Euro glory for a third time.

Butland was a member of John Peacock’s squad that won the European U17 Championship in 2010, and the Stoke City stopper has since gone on to captain his country at Under-21s level and appear for the senior side.

Butland during seniors training this week


Peacock, who guided England to glory at the Euros for the second time last summer, is plotting a third triumph after his side secured their place at this year’s tournament in May with victory over Slovenia on Wednesday, and his former No1 was quick to sing his praises.

Butland told TheFA.com: “It’s fantastic. Back in 2010 he was massive for all of the squad, and especially for me, starting me in them games. It’s something that I can always look back on and it was a fantastic experience.

“He hasn’t just left it at that, John has continued to produce great teams and it was great to see his side defeat Slovenia and reach the Euros again.”

The 22-year-old is at St. George’s Park with Roy Hodgson’s men preparing to face Lithuania and Italy, but enjoyed a catch-up with his former boss when reporting for duty.

England Under-17s head coach John Peacock

England Under-17s head coach John Peacock

Afterwards, Butland revealed what he thought was the key to the long-time coach’s success on the international stage.

“When you come away with England at that age you are very inexperienced, but John is great in those situations and we all learnt a lot from him,” said Butland.

“It was a very enjoyable time for us being away and learning how to handle the international set-up in a competitive environment – at such a young age against the best teams.

“He makes that environment comfortable for the players, and I think that is his key. He ensures everyone learns and enjoys it, which I think is how it should be at that young age.”

Jack Butland in action for England U17s in 2010

Butland added: “When you are doing that it builds up your confidence at club level after he has given you the platform to do that on the international stage.

“He gave us the freedom and licence to show people what we are about and I think that’s why he has been so successful.”

Butland is hoping to see Peacock go on and win the Euros for a historic third time this May in Bulgaria.

“I hope he can and wish him and all the lads the very best. I’d love to see them go on and win it and John to lift the trophy for a third time.

“It can only be a positive for English football if we can keep winning at these age groups.”

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer At St. George's Park