England U19s coach Boothroyd previews Euro Finals opener

Tuesday 12 Jul 2016
The England squad for the 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals

Aidy Boothroyd says England Under-19s are "fit, happy and raring to go" ahead of today’s Euro Finals opener against France.

The eight-team tournament kicked off with two games in Group A on Monday, when hosts Germany were beaten by Italy before Portugal and Austria played out a 1-1 draw.

Attention turns to Group B today, with Croatia taking on the Netherlands before Boothroyd’s men open their campaign at the Albastadion in Heidenheim at 6.30pm BST.

England v France

2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship Finals
6.30pm (BST), Tuesday 12 July
Albastadion, Heidenheim, Germany
Live on Eurosport 1


The top two sides from each group will progress to the semi-finals and secure a place at next year’s Under-20 World Cup but, while Boothroyd says he’s keen to see his side finish in the final four, the boss is purely concentrating on getting off to a good start.

“The most important thing is to win the tournament, of course it is, but we've got to take one game at a time and our next game is our most important,” he explained.

“We've got a very difficult game against the France team, and we're looking forward to it and excited about being here. Everyone’s fit, happy and raring to go.


“We've got to take one game at a time and our next game is our most important”

Aidy Boothroyd
England U19s coach

“We're in with some very good teams but we've worked all season to get to this point and now it's about making sure that we make the most of our opportunity.

“Our goal is to progress to the semi-final. We know that will be very difficult because we're playing three very good teams, but you don't come to a competition like this and look to go home.

“You want to stay as long as you can, and that's what we'd like to do.”

FATV goes behind the scenes with England U19s ahead of the Euro Finals

Half of the 18-man squad Boothroyd has taken to Germany have already enjoyed Euro Finals glory, having been part of the Young Lions’ success at the European Under-17 Championship in Malta two years ago.

And the coach hopes that experience will stand them in good stead: “I think it's helpful that there's a core group of the squad that were part of that victory in Malta.

“Winning competitions and playing in tournaments is what the development teams are all about - that's what we're trying to do to produce players to go on to play for the senior national team.

“The fact that they won in Malta and how they did that has been really useful in the build-up and we've managed to tap into that with the players and share those experiences. Perhaps they will be wiser to some of the pitfalls along the way.”

By Jim Lucas