Youth Teams
Youth Teams

England U17s head coach Steve Cooper reflects on winning the World Cup in India

Saturday 28 Oct 2017
Steve Cooper and his team celebrate winning the U17 World Cup in Kolkata

England head coach Steve Cooper has reflected on his side’s 5-2 victory over Spain in the FIFA U17 World Cup Final.

After going 2-0 down in the first half, Cooper’s Young Lions pulled a goal back through tournament top scorer Rhian Brewster.

England 5-2 Spain
  • FIFA U17 World Cup
  • The Final
  • Saturday 28 October
  • Kolkata, India

And England were unstoppable after the break as Morgan Gibbs-White equalised before a brace from Golden Boot winner Phil Foden and a goal for defender Marc Guehi ensured a convincing victory.

Read Cooper’s thoughts on the win, and the World Cup campaign in general, below…

"The feeling is…I’m speechless. It’s a little bit surreal and I think I’ll feel a little bit better tomorrow when we actually realise what we’ve done.

The players have been fantastic all throughout the tournament and the staff.

We are, in my opinion, worthy winners with the amount of goals we’ve scored and conceded and the type of football that we’ve played, individual talent, team identity and character and personality.

To be 2-0 down in a World Cup Final, in my opinion against the run of play, and then to come back and win 5-2 tells you everything about the character of the English players.

This trophy is a dedication to the good work being done back in England with the club academies and the development of young players.

England celebrate winning the U17 World Cup in Kolkata

It’s also dedicated to all the work that everybody is doing at The FA and these players have been in the system for three or four years now and they’ve been on a journey and a pathway and a lot of work has gone on from different coaches.

For me, it’s recognition of where English football not just is, but where it can go and where we want it to go.

To think that we’re now the holders of the U17s and U20s World Cup is, for me, pretty special.

The result and the winning a trophy is major, but the way we’ve gone about it in this tournament, the belief has been second to none.

It’s showing the way we want to go and we’ve played like we want all of our England teams to play. Brave on the ball, pass, pass, pass, not one long ball, get into good areas, play as a team and some good individual play up the field as well.

This is the way we’re going and we have a plan which can be used in any game and we showed today we can do it against the very best.

Credit to Spain, we’ve had two really good games with them here and at the Euros in the summer. The coach Santi showed a huge amount of respect after the game and said some nice things and I’d like to return that.

Phil Foden celebrates his second goal in the U17 World Cup

They have some unbelievable players and when the dust settles, they’ll look back on this with pride at some of the football they played.

I’d also like to give everyone in India and Kolkata a special mention, because for six of the seven games here and they fans have been great, really complimentary about what we’re trying to do.

It’s been an amazing experience. It’s easy to say that now when I’m sat here with the trophy, but whatever happened today, we will all go back as better players and staff and individuals so I’d like to say thank-you to India for hosting a top tournament.

I hope a legacy has been left here in India for football. There’s been a massive interest and passion and if we’ve made an impact on Indian kids, then that’s great."

By FA Staff