All smiles for Aidy Boothroyd as U20s continue run

Sunday 29 Mar 2015
Boothroyd watches on from the Home Park bench against USA

Aidy Boothroyd praised his side’s spirit after recording their second win against high-profile opposition in four days, with a 2-1 victory against USA.

His England Under-20s staved off a potential late comeback from a determined USA side in front of more than 11,000 on a wet and windy afternoon in Plymouth – outstanding support that also impressed the boss.

"It’s everything that we wanted," said Boothroyd, after goals from John Swift and Kwame Thomas helped see off America. 

England 2-1 USA

U20s International
Sunday 29 March
Home Park, Plymouth

"We knew that USA would be a tough opposition, that’s why we picked the game. They made us work for it very hard.

"It was a very good team performance, considering a lot of the guys have only been together for a week. 

"That’s credit to the group though, we’ve got some good types that get everybody going and make it feel like a club – and that’s important."

The U20s – now unbeaten in eight outings since Boothroyd took over in March 2014 – had to fight off late pressure from the visitors after Maki Tall’s 74th-minute strike gave them a glimmer of hope.

"They were strong, fast, fit and organised. They never stopped going until the end and were very difficult to play against," he added.

"They are very passionate about playing for their country and like all the teams that we play we had to work hard to beat them.

Aidy Boothroyd praises the 'club atmosphere' his players and staff have created

"They’ve been together a long time and they got a lot more dates together as a group than we do. They fly all over the world and play games together."

It was the first time an England representative team has played in Plymouth since the late Dave Sexton’s U21s took on Poland at Home Park in 1989.

And despite driving rain and fierce winds, 11,406 braved the conditions to cheer England on. Something else that did not go unnoticed.

"Coming to Plymouth with England has been a great experience. Whenever I’ve been down here in the past it’s always been a warm reception," said the former Watford boss.

“The turnout was fantastic. Wherever we go want people to come out and see young English players. They are out there.”

Aidy Boothroyd on the crowd at Plymouth

"Although the weather has not been great, it’s the only thing that’s not. The people, the place and the support has been fantastic. 

"The turnout was absolutely fantastic. Wherever we go want people to come out and see young English players. They are out there. 

"It’s great that the people of Plymouth can see what it is that’s coming through – and maybe be able to say that they were there at Home Park when hopefully one or two of these are playing for the senior team one day.

"I’m sure after the reception that we’ve had from the crowd and the people of Plymouth that we’ll be back well before 26 years next time."

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer at Home Park, Plymouth