Steve Cooper has encouraged his players to embrace a unique opportunity after naming his squad for the elite qualifying round of the UEFA U17 Championship.
The Young Lions will travel to Bosnia next week where they face Czech Republic, Slovenia and the host nation in a round-robin tournament, with the top-placed team in the group and the seven best runners-up making it through to this summer’s Euro finals in Croatia.
Ross Barkley, Jack Butland and Nathaniel Chalobah helped England win this competition in 2010, while Joe Gomez, Patrick Roberts and Josh Onomah tasted glory in Malta in 2014.
- v Czech Republic, Thursday 23 March
- v Slovenia, Saturday 25 March
- v Bosnia, Tuesday 28 March
The head coach said: “Players don’t get many opportunities to play in European Championships and World Cups.
“We can never guarantee any player a long career with England. The players know that. So we want them to be aware that this is a massive opportunity for them to play on such a big stage.
“Hopefully they appreciate that and give it a real good go to achieve something which they can look back on in the future.
“But with everything we do, we have one eye of the here-and-now and one eye on the future. The way we prepare, the way we play, the way we review.
“It’s going to help them today and it’s going to help them in the long term, which will hopefully one day bring them into the senior team.”
Squad: Josef Bursik (AFC Wimbledon), Thomas McGill (Brighton & Hove Albion), Timothy Eyoma (Tottenham Hotspur), Lewis Gibson (Newcastle), Marc Guehi (Chelsea), Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea), Steven Sessegnon (Fulham), Kane Wilson (West Bromwich Albion), Morgan Gibbs-White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Nya Kirby (Crystal Palace), Tashan Oakley-Boothe (Tottenham Hotspur), George McEachran (Chelsea), Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), Philip Foden (Manchester City), Callum Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), Daniel Loader (Reading), Jadon Sancho (Manchester City), Stephen Walker (Middlesbrough)*
* Replaces Angel Gomes (Manchester United) who is injured.