Youth Teams
Youth Teams
The FA

'An extra buzz'

England pair and best friends George McEachran and Phil Foden ready for World Cup

Saturday 07 Oct 2017

Young Lions pals Phil Foden and George McEachran have experienced plenty in their short England careers to date, but nothing quite like the U17 World Cup.

The pair have been room-mates on their international trips since first meeting up with the U16s and throughout the last campaign with the U17s, when their performances helped England to qualify for the competition.

Chile v England
  • FIFA U17 World Cup
  • 12.30pm, Sunday 8 October
  • Kolkata, India
  • Live on Eurosport

And after being in India for ten days already, both of the youngsters can’t wait to get stuck into the tournament.

“It’s a lot different to England, the people are so friendly, even when we’re driving past on the coach or leaving the hotel, they’re saying hi,” revealed Manchester City forward Foden.

“It’s the World Cup and when you see the stadiums and the way it’s being set up, it’s a big thing and a lot of effort has been put into it - that’s when you realise how massive it is.

“Playing in front of 60,000 people is going to amazing, something we’re not used to and we’re all looking forward to it.”

Chelsea midfielder McEachran is equally enthused and admits the trip so far has been a bit of an eye-opener for all of the squad, who arrived at their World Cup base in Kolkata on Tuesday after a training camp in Mumbai before that.

“It’s very different to what we’re used to, it shows how lucky we are back in England with the things that we have,” he admits.

“Seeing the people on the streets when we first came in, was just crazy.

George McEachran
  • Born: Oxford, 30 August 2000
  • Club: Chelsea
  • Idol: Andres Iniesta
  • Twitter: @G_McEachran

“We had a big welcome from the fans and the media when we first got off the coach, people were dancing, taking loads of pictures and it was the same when it came to the hotel.

“In Mumbai, the first few sessions were hard, getting used to the humidity but as we’ve got used to it and the journey has gone on, I think we’ve all adapted well.

“There’s an extra buzz about this. The Euros is just the European teams but this has the best in the world so there’s an extra edge to it.

“If you can win it, you’re the best in the world at your age, so hopefully we can do it.”

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Foden is equally confident as England gear up for Sunday’s opening game against Chile, in front of an expected sell-out crowd in Kolkata, before facing Mexico and Iraq in their follow-up games next week.

“We’re confident about the group stage,” he says.

“We’ve analysed every team and looked at them so we know what they do and we’re prepared for what anyone throws at us.”

As for their own partnership off the pitch, McEachran reveals how the pair bonded initially after games between Chelsea and City’s junior teams, before they were united again with the Young Lions.

Phil Foden
  • Born: Stockport, 28 May 2000
  • Club: Manchester City
  • Idol: David Silva
  • Twitter: @PhilFoden

“We’ve played against each other since we were really young and met when we were 14,” he revealed.

“And then at the first England camp we got a good bond going and we’ve been room-mates ever since.”

Foden added: “It’s been since the first camp with England really and we’ve just always got on.

“We don’t get to see each other as much away from that, but it’s always good to come away with England and renew things again.”

Hopefully, they’ll have plenty of time to spend together this month with England’s aim on reaching the World Cup final on 28 October.

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels