Monday, October 14, 2013

Where are they now? - England's Under-17 Euro Winning Squad of 2010

We are currently in the middle of a break in the world of top flight club football as the senior England international team try to cement a place in the World Cup Finals being held in Brazil next Summer.

Back on the 30th May 2010 England (below) were victorious in the European Under-17 Championships in Liechtenstein. This eight team tournament included some European powerhouses including the likes of France, Portugal, Czech Republic and Spain, who England defeated 2-1 in the final. That sought-after Euro Championship title win was England's first age-group title since 1993.

                         England celebrate winning the Under-17s Euro Championships in 2010

That 1993 triumph, at the European Under-18 Championship hosted in England, was earned by a team that included Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Robbie Fowler and Sol Campbell who all went on to play for the senior team.

Three years after becoming the '2010 Young Kings of Europe,' only one of England's brilliant Under-17 team, Everton's Ross Barkley, is playing regularly in the English Premier League. So, where did it all go wrong for the golden generation?

The pressure for success at the top level of English club football is part of the problem. Managers may want to give younger players a chance but fear the consequences of failure.

There is a lot to play for in the Premier League. The clubs think about what happens when young players make mistakes. But if you instill confidence into players, they can show their abilities.

The influx of foreign players is something we have to look at but with some young players maybe things have become quite easy for them financially. They should leave the money aside and just concentrate on getting into the first team. All the rest will come.

Years ago, young players used to get more opportunities and statistics show the number of English players plying their trade for their respective clubs first team is sadly dropping. A lot are still in the academies when they should have been pushed on by now.

On the subject of ability Ray Wilkins who made his Chelsea debut at 17 and became club captain a year later said: "Technically, some of the young men in the academies are as good as it gets. But something goes slightly wrong when they get to a certain age. Is it that burning desire? Or is that situation where they feel they're not getting a chance so they don't work as hard? If you're not getting a chance, work doubly hard."

England Under-17 2010 Euro Winning squad:

GK:  Jack Butland 20 years-old, plays for Barnsley, on loan from Stoke City.

GK:  Sam Johnstone 20, plays for Yeovil Town on loan from Manchester United.

DF:  Bruno Pilatos 20, former Middlesborough player, now plays for Darlington in the Evo-Stik First Division North.

DF:  Luke Garbutt 20, plays for Colchester United, on loan from Everton.

DF:  Nathaniel Chalobah 18, plays for Nottingham Forest on loan from Chelsea.

DF:  Andre Wisdom 20, eighteen league and cup appearances for Liverpool's first team since Sept 2012.

DF:  Ben Gibson 20, made his first Middlesborough start on 6th Aug 2013. Previous loan spells at Plymouth, York and Tranmere.

DF:  Tom Thorpe 20, plys his trade in the Manchester United reserve team.

MF:  Conor Coady 20, plays for Sheffield United, on loan from Liverpool.

MF:  William Keane 20, One first-team appearance for Manchester Utd since 31st Dec 2011.

MF:  Joshua McEachran 20, plays for Watford, on loan from Chelsea.

MF:  Ross Barkley 19, Establishing himself as a first-team regular at Everton and made his England senior debut on 6th Sept 2013.

MF:  George Thorne 20, signed professional contract with West Brom in Jan 2010. Currently recovering from a serious knee injury following loan spells at Peterborough and Portsmouth.

MF:  Luke Williams 20, made his Middlesborough debut at just 16 back in Dec 2009. Has made a total of 22 starts for the North-East club.

FW:  Benik Afobe 20, signed a pro contract with Arsenal in Feb 2010. Yet to make a first team appearance for the Gunners. Suffered a serious knee injury last March following loan spells at Huddersfield, Reading, Bolton and Millwall.

FW:  Connor Wickham 20, After impressing at Ipswich Wickham at just 18 made a big money move to Sunderland in June 2011. Joined Sheff Wed on loan in Feb 2013 but now back with 'The Black Cats.'

FW:  Robert Hall 19, plays for Bolton Wanderers. Previous loan spells at Oxford Utd, MK Dons, Birmingham and Bolton, before finally signing for Bolton on a permanent basis on 1st July 2013.

FW:  Saido Berahino 20, Born in Burundi (East Africa) Berahino plays for West Brom. Previous loan spells at Northampton, Brentford and Peterborough.

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