Youth Teams
Youth Teams

Tom Davies and Ryan Sessegnon set the benchmark for England U19 team-mates

Downing: More of my Young Lions can roar

Tuesday 21 Mar 2017
England U19 captain Tom Davies has become a regular in the Everton first team

Under-19s head coach Keith Downing believes the progress of Tom Davies and Ryan Sessegnon at club level this term should inspire their England team-mates.

Captain Davies has played in 15 Premier League games for Everton, while 16-year-old Sessegnon has attracted many admirers for his consistency with Fulham in the Championship.

And Downing believes more of his talented squad can soon follow suit and also earn regular first-team football with their clubs, provided they show the right level of application.

Elite Round Qualifier
  • v Norway, Wednesday 22 March 2017
  • v Spain, Friday 24 March 2017
  • v Belarus, Monday 27 March 2017
  • St. George's Park, behind closed doors

He said: “Tom Davies and Ryan Sessegnon have made big breakthroughs at Everton and Fulham, but we also have Trent Alexander-Arnold who has been playing with the Liverpool first team and Sam Field has been in and around it at West Brom.

“Some players get their chances before others , but they are examples to the rest that anything is possible.”

England’s quest to qualify for July’s European Under-19 Championship resumes on Wednesday at St. George’s Park.

The Young Lions take on Norway, Spain and Belarus in the space of six days on home soil, needing to finish top of their Elite Round group to ensure their summer will be spent in Georgia.

Downing’s team navigated their way through the tricky initial Qualifying Round stage in November, beating Luxembourg then losing to Wales, before bouncing back with a 2-0 defeat of Greece.

England U19s head coach Keith Downing


But the former Wolves midfielder knows there will be no let-up this week.

Downing added: All three games will be a stern test. I’ve been and seen Norway play recently and we have footage from their qualifiers, so we know what we are up against.

“They are a physical side and will make things difficult for us. But I’m really looking forward to a week, which we hope will be progressive.

“We all know how good technically the Spanish players are and Belarus have got through on merit.

“They are a little bit more of an unknown quantity, but we’ve seen footage of pre-qualifiers and they have done really well.

“We’ve got four wins in our last five games and we want to carry that momentum forwards.

“The players were under real pressure against Greece, after losing to Wales, and they handled it really well, so that was a great learning experience.”

By Josh Richards Digital Producer