Youth Teams
Youth Teams

Head coach Steve Cooper proud of brave Young Lions after Euro U17 final defeat

Friday 19 May 2017
Head coach Steve Cooper saw England beaten by Spain on penalties in the UEFA European U17 Championship final

Head coach Steve Cooper declared himself proud of his Young Lions after their agonising penalty shootout defeat to Spain in the European U17 Championship final.

England had twice taken the lead in normal time through Callum Hudson-Odoi and Phil Foden, but were pegged back for the second time with the final kick of the game.

In the spot-kick lottery it was Spain who triumphed, but Cooper feels this team will reap their rewards in time.

Spain 2-2 England (4-1 on pens)
  • UEFA European U17 Championship
  • Final
  • Friday 19 May 2017
  • Varazdin, Croatia

“We should be proud,” said Cooper.

“We’ve had a fantastic tournament and a fantastic season, which I’ve said to the players.

“My emotion is pride and although it doesn’t feel it now this experience will be a good one when we get over it and we can do a little bit better in future tournaments.

“It’s difficult to take the result, conceding the goal as late as we did, with the last kick of the game. It’s never good when you lose on penalties.

“I thought we had good spells in the game, but credit to Spain they did as well. 1-1 was fair at half-time.

“There was a little bit of cat and mouse in the second half, a little bit of demand for possession. We managed to take the lead and tried to see the game out, but I don’t think anybody would have written that script at the end of the game. It hurts.”

Callum Hudson-Odoi (left) and Jadon Sancho lit up the tournament

England’s performance in Croatia has been good enough to seal qualification for the U17 World Cup in India in October.

The draw for the group stages takes place on 7 July in Mumbai, and Cooper is already positive about what the future will hold for his squad.

“We’ve qualified for the World Cup in India, which was one of the objectives of the tournament,” he added.

“We did that in style winning 10 games on the run, so we have that to look forward to.

“We’ll continue with our work, everything that we do with the national teams is with the long term in mind.

“We want a successful senior team and doing well and getting to finals and latter stages of tournaments like this will prove to be beneficial in the long term.”

By Andy Walker Senior Communications Manager