From Euro disappointment to World Cup excitement

Friday 22 Jul 2016
Kyle Walker-Peters in Euro action against Italy

The England Under-19s squad return home from Germany on Friday following their semi-final exit from the European Championship.

Aidy Boothroyd’s side narrowly lost 2-1 to Italy on Thursday, but the Young Lions come away from the competition having secured a place in next year’s U20 World Cup.

And that’s a prospect which excites many of the squad as they return to their clubs for pre-season ahead of a new international campaign in a new age group.

“At the beginning of the year we sat down with the manager and the staff and [the World Cup] was one of our targets,” revealed goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, who returns to Newcastle United.

“We wanted to be one of the teams that reached the World Cup and to go and experience that.

“The best teams go to play in World Cups and for us to be there will be such a great moment.”

Tottenham Hotspur defender Kyle Walker-Peters, who was one of England’s best performers in the Euros, is also looking forward to a potential trip to South Korea next May.

“We’ve always spoken about the World Cup this season, so we’ve always had it in mind and it’s a big thing for us,” he said.

“It was in the back of everyone’s heads this season, and once we qualified it was a great achievement for us.”

England Under-19s Izzy Brown came off the bench to score the winner against the Netherlands

England youngster Izzy Brown excited by U20s World Cup

Chelsea forward Izzy Brown, who scored a memorable winner against the Netherlands and England’s opener against Croatia, is another Young Lion hoping for a chance to strut his stuff at a competition billed as FIFA’s second biggest tournament after the men’s senior World Cup.

“The World Cup is a great achievement,” said Brown.

“That’s one of the things that we came here to do, so to get it confirmed was a great boost for the squad.”

By Nicholas Veevers