England Under-17s squad named for Croatia Cup tournament

Friday 16 Sep 2016
Steve Cooper

England Under-17s will continue their preparations for next month’s Euro Qualifiers when they take part in the Croatia Cup.

The Young Lions will face opposition from the host nation, Greece and Germany in the tournament, scheduled for late September and early October.

And head coach Steve Cooper has named a 21-man squad for the trip, which will take in two games in Pula and one in Novigrad on the northern tip of Croatia’s Adriatic coast.

The Croatia Cup 2016

Croatia v England
5.30pm (BST), Wednesday 28 September
Stadium Aldo Drosina, Pula

England v Greece
12noon (BST), Friday 30 September
Stadium Laco, Novigrad

Germany v England
11am (BST), Monday 3 October
Stadium Aldo Drosina, Pula

Cooper’s side will open the competition against the host nation on Wednesday 28 September at the Stadium Aldo Drosina in Pula, before facing Greece two days later at Novigrad’s Stadium Laco.

The fixtures will be rounded off on Monday 3 October when Germany are the opposition for a second game in Pula.

With a trip to Romania for the first qualifying round of the European U17 Championship coming up in late October, where they will face the hosts, Austria and Azerbaijan, Cooper will be pleased to have three tough tests for his squad to ensure they’re prepared for the start of this season’s competition.

"It’s come at a good time in a number of ways, because this is a UEFA tournament year for the boys so it’s good to get them back into a tournament format," said Cooper.

"They experienced some good tournaments as U16s last season in the Nike Cup in Florida and the Montaigu Tournament that we go to every year.

"We had a really productive camp in August and a couple of training games against Belgium which went well, so it’s good that we can now go back into tournament mode for this trip.

"It will be a great event, playing Croatia in Croatia will be a testing environment and will give the players a great experience of playing a home nation who will have good support.

"You always get a good game against Germany and there’s always a level of importance around that fixture and Greece is a nation that we haven’t played too often in the development years, so that will be a new experience as well.

"All three games will give us a different test and it’s something we’re really looking forward to.

"It’s an important tournament for the players’ development, but also great preparation for the Euro Qualifiers in Romania later in October so it will hopefully be a beneficial trip for the whole group.

The majority of the squad have been capped previously at U16 level, but there are two players aiming to win their first caps in the shape of Tottenham Hotspur defender Brooklyn Lyons-Foster and Newcastle United’s Lewis Gibson.

Last season saw Cooper guide the U17s to the quarter finals of the European Championship in Azerbaijan, where they narrowly lost to Spain in the knock-out stages in May.

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Curtis Anderson (Manchester City), Tom McGill (Brighton & Hove Albion) 

Defenders: Lewis Gibson (Newcastle United), Marc Guehi (Chelsea) Joel Latibeaudiere (Manchester City), Marcel Lavinier (Chelsea)*, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster (Tottenham Hotspur), Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea), Kane Wilson (West Bromwich Albion)

Midfielders: Alex Denny (Everton)**, Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Nya Kirby (Unattached), George McEachran (Chelsea)

Forwards: Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), Phil Foden (Manchester City), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Danny Loader (Reading), Ian Carlo Poveda (Manchester City) Jadon Sancho (Manchester City), Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal)

* Replaces Timoth Eyoma (Tottenham Hotspur)
** Replaces Tashan Oakley-Booth (Tottenham Hotspur)

By Nicholas Veevers