After picking up two wins from their first two games at the U17 World Cup in India, the Young Lions squad made a special trip out on Thursday.
Their 3-2 victory over Mexico on Wednesday was enough to secure progress into next week’s knock-our stage and before the final group game with Iraq on Saturday, six members of the squad paid a visit to a school in Kolkata to meet and play football with local children.
- FIFA U17 World Cup
- 3.30pm, Saturday 14 October
- Kolkata, India
- Live on Eurosport
Head coach Steve Cooper was joined by Joel Latibeaudiere, Angel Gomes, George McEachran, Curtis Anderson, Jadon Sancho and Danny Loader for the trip to Newtown School, which saw them spend time doing drills and talking about their experiences of India with the pupils before handing out gifts, signing autographs and taking photos with over 80 children.
Many of the youngsters came from the Kolkata Goalz programme – a Premier Skills projects which helps build positive relationships between young people in high deprivation areas and the local authorities through sport. The project was led by the British Council and the Kolkata Police with inputs from the Premier League in the UK.
“We’ve so enjoyed being based in Kolkata and it was important to us to get out into the community whilst we were here,” explained Cooper.
“We have all enjoyed spending time with the local children, and I think the players were impressed with their football skills!
“It has been a day we will all remember. We’d like to thank the people of Kolkata for the warm welcome to this wonderful city and look forward to playing our final group stage game here on Saturday.”
Manchester United forward Angel Gomes, who scored in the opening game win over Chile last Sunday, added: “Playing football with the local kids today was an amazing experience.
“Having spent a week in Kolkata it was really nice to get out and spend some time in the local community.
“We’re really happy to be here, the local support has been amazing and we can’t wait to get out there and play again on Saturday.”
See photos from the visit in our gallery below.