England U19s' Izzy Brown: 'I needed to change the game'

Friday 15 Jul 2016
Izzy Brown

Super-sub Izzy Brown says the words and confidence of England Under-19s boss Aidy Boothroyd helped inspire him to score their winner against Holland.

The Chelsea forward was named on the bench by Boothroyd for the Young Lions’ second group match of the Euro Finals, as he shuffled his squad following their win over France earlier this week.

And whilst Brown admits he was naturally disappointed to lose his spot in the starting line-up, he was keen to make a difference when he had the chance.

Netherlands 1-2 England

UEFA European U19 Championship
The Finals
Friday 15 July 2016
Donaustadion, Ulm, Germany

"Of course, you're always going to start games and not start games, it's part of football,” said Brown, after his fine stoppage-time finish secured a 2-1 victory over the Dutch.

"You can never start every match, but the coach made it clear to me before the game that I'll still be a key player even from the bench and if I come on, I need to change the game.

"So that was in my mind, coming into the match I just wanted to try and help the team to get the win and luckily, that's what happened - I'm very happy with the goal."

Having spent last season on loan in the Netherlands with Vitesse Arnhem along with England’s other goalscorer and Chelsea team-mate Dom Solanke, this was a game featuring a few familiar faces for Brown.

But despite the close links between the sides, who have now met each other at U19, U18 and U17 level over the years, the former West Bromwich Albion youngster wasn’t treating it any differently.

"I have a couple of friends in the Holland team, but it was just like any normal match," he explained. 

"I just know a few of them, but I didn't really think that just because I played in Holland I want to beat them anymore.


England's Izzy Brown celebrates his winner against the Dutch in Ulm

"I just want to do well for my country and make my family proud, so I'm very happy right now.

"You can see the way this Dutch team play, they have some great footballers, Steve [Bergwijn] and Nouri are excellent players.

"We knew what we had to do to beat them, we studied them and the right-back, I played in the same team as him so I know a bit about him and I'm sure he knows a bit about me as well.

"It's a game of cat and mouse, but it's okay because we won the game and that's all that really matters."

The result means that England made it two wins from two games in the group stage, ahead of their final match against Croatia on Monday.

And that means they have now succeeding in hitting their first target for the season by qualifying for next year’s U20 World Cup, as well as next week’s Euro semi-finals with one game still to play.

"It's important, we wanted to qualify as soon as possible and to qualify in two matches means the players who have played two matches can maybe rest and the coach can change things and everyone is fresh for the semi-final," he added.

"I think the way we have qualified is an excellent achievement and just shows how strong a team we are."

England's final Group B game with Croatia kicks-off at 11am (BST) on Monday 18 July at the Heidenheim Arena in Germany, live on Eurosport.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels