Steve Cooper confident England youngsters will get Premier League chance

World Cup-winning Under-17s coach Steve Cooper is confident his England youngsters will be given the chance to shine in the Premier League.

Cooper’s side recovered from 2-0 down to stun Spain 5-2 in the final in India on Saturday and the promise of the likes of Phil Foden and Rhian Brewster has excited England fans.

Manchester City’s Foden and Brewster of Liverpool have both been involved with their respective first-team squads but are yet to make their senior debuts.

With top clubs casting their nets wider and wider from an ever younger age, there has never been more competition for home-grown talents.

But Cooper remains convinced the opportunities will be there if the players are good enough.

He told Press Association Sport: “The academies are doing some outstanding work and we really believe in what we’re doing with the national teams.

“Results are starting to show and I think people are starting to sit up and take notice of how good English players really are. And as long as we keep doing that I’m convinced there will be more opportunities further down the line.

“I don’t think there’s anybody that purposely doesn’t want to give English players a chance but maybe we should be looking a bit closer to home. There might be a player already in the wings waiting to step up.”

There is much to be optimistic about for success-starved England supporters, with the Under-20s also winning their World Cup this summer and the Under-19s the European Championship.

Cooper’s group, due to arrive home on Monday, are not as far down the road in their football journey but he believes they have both the technical ability and the mentality to succeed.

“These boys have got to enjoy this moment but they will quickly know they’ve got to get back to every day development work in training and games,” he said.

“They know nobody’s anywhere near the finished article yet. They’re a grounded bunch, they work really hard, they get on with each other really well.

“What they do do is they love playing football, they love being footballers, and as long as they keep that enthusiasm and that appetite they will have a good chance.

“They’re still very young and there isn’t one way of being ready to be a footballer. Some might break through not far from now and others need to go through the full cycle and maybe aren’t ready until 20, 21.

“All that is important is that when the boys are ready the opportunities are there.”

Source: PA


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