Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

England U21s boss Aidy Boothroyd looking forward to challenges on offer at U21 EURO

Monday 27 May 2019
U21s head coach Aidy Boothroyd has picked his squad for the Euros

Aidy Boothroyd says he’s looking towards his squad of “soldiers and artists” to succeed at this summer’s U21 EURO Finals.

The Young Lions boss has named his squad for the trip to Italy and San Marino, with the group now working hard in preparation at St. George’s Park ahead of the tournament in June.

And he admits that now the final selection of 23 players has been made, he’s happy to concentrate on getting ready for the games ahead.

“This is a really strong squad and I’m really pleased with the group of players I’ve got, who will be representing us at the Euros,” said Boothroyd.

“We have a big pool of talent in the England set-up and I had some tough selection decisions to make as there’s a lot of strength in depth.

“We have a real mixture in terms of age and experience. We’ve got Tammy [Abraham], Demarai [Gray] and Angus [Gunn] who were part of the Euros squad in 2017, but also have nine players who are young enough to be eligible for the next qualifying campaign.

“This group have also won a lot at youth level and know the work and application that it takes.

Boothryod's squad qualified for the Euros by winning ten of their 12 games in qualifying

“We’ll need that experience and winning mentality for the Euros. It’s always a really tough tournament and I think this year is as strong as it’s ever been.

“It’s a great opportunity for our players to showcase their talents as individuals and as a team.”

England kick-off their campaign against France in Cesena on Tuesday 18 June, before further group games with Romania and Croatia.

And the head coach, who has signed a two-year contract extension ahead of the tournament, believes the variety of opponents at this stage will provide a real test for the Young Lions.

“We're coming up against three really good teams,” he added. “France will be a real test, with their athleticism and guile, power and pace.

“Romania and Croatia will be different again, with their strength coming from the team as a group. They’ll be well-organised, drilled and tough to break down, while looking to counter-attack.

“We’ll need different tactical solutions for each game and it’s up to us to get the right balance in our team – soldiers and artists.

“The next two weeks at St. George’s Park are really crucial to our preparation. We’re working hard and getting right to the exciting part of going to Italy and kicking-off our tournament against France.

“It’s important we use every second of our preparation towards being successful at the Euros.”

All of England’s games at the Euros will be shown live on Sky Sports and tickets are available via UEFA.

By Nicholas Veevers