Boothroyd wants England U19s to 'be the best they can be'

Monday 11 Jul 2016
England Under-19s head coach Aidy Boothroyd

England Under-19s boss Aidy Boothroyd believes the hard work put in at St. George’s Park by his squad will help their Euro 2016 challenge.

The Young Lions are currently in Germany, where they kick-start their campaign against France in the group stage on Tuesday evening.

Boothroyd’s squad made the trip to their base in Ulm on Friday, after three separate training camps at the national football centre throughout June with many of the players sacrificing holiday time in order to be ready for the Championships.

England v France

UEFA European U19 Championship
The Finals
6.30pm, Tuesday 12 July 2016
Heidenheim Arena, Germany
Live on EuroSport

And the head coach feels the extra time he’s had to work alongside his players can only help them in their quest for success over the next two weeks.

"We’ve got limited time with the players but what we try to do is assess the strengths that we’ve got and try to work on that within the work we’ve been doing," he said.

"You can have a good group of individuals, which is what we’ve got, but to mould them into a team takes time and we haven’t got time.

"So we need to microwave our players and get them into team play, understanding what we’re trying to do, what our game plans are and to go and carry them out.

"We want to get them playing in the right way for us and the players, and which suits international football.

"We want to create an environment where players are going to want to come back to and an environment where players are going to learn."

After kick-starting their Group B fixtures in Heidenheim, England face the Netherlands on Friday 15 July before taking on Croatia next Monday.

FATV joined the England Under-19s squad as they prepare for the Euros at St. George's Park

If they finish in the top two of the group, they will progress to the semi-final stage as well as qualify for the U20 World Cup in South Korea next year.

So competition for places is certainly fierce within Boothroyd’s 18-man squad, which was selected from a larger group who took part in the training camps.

And it’s now down to the players to prove their worth, earn a spot in the starting line-up for the opening match and provide a firm base on which to build an international career.

"As I always say to the players, the manager doesn’t pick teams, the players do," revealed Boothroyd.

"If they perform and do what’s required to be successful, then they’re going to be the first name on the team sheet and if they don’t do what’s required, then they’re not and that’s the cold, hard truth.

"That’s the sort of message that the U19s are getting so they’ve got to be at it, and the best they can be.

"Talent is over-rated, it only gets you through the door. It’s the persistence that you need and being able to deal with the knock-backs that counts -  that’s what really makes good people and players.

"Getting players through into the U20s and U21s, qualifying for and winning tournaments, that would be success but also educating our players on what it’s like to be a young professional and what a successful young professional needs to go and build a career at the top level for their club and country."

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels