For Aidy Boothroyd the frustration is still raw. Eleven months on Of the semi-finalists here England’s squad accumulated half as many top-flight minutes for their respective clubs last season. The Germany side who thrashed England 4-0 in the 2009 edition of this tournament contained six players who went on to win the World Cup in Brazil three years ago. In contrast Stuart Pearce’s side, containing Lee Cattermole and Adam Johnson, have since won a combined number of little more than 100 caps. But, whisper it, a new breed of young English player appears to be emerging despite their lack of opportunities. No one epitomises that more than the Swansea defender Alfie Mawson who sat alongside Boothroyd at the pre-match press conference here and was not afraid to admit his ambition is to captain the senior side one day, despite never having represented his country until a few months ago. “I want to be a player in five or six years’ time that young players can come to me and ask for advice,” he said. “That’s the image I want to give off. “If I can instil that in people’s minds now, it will create better images when I get to be a captain Justin Faulk Authentic Jersey one day. If that ever meant becoming a captain at national level, that would be a dream come true. At the moment I’ve got to try to get past the finish line in this competition and you don’t know what’s going to happen in a couple of years. I take it in my stride, keep going and keep going and hopefully at the end of the week we’ve got another titlefrom England’s semi-final defeat by Italy at the European Under-19 Championship, the manager sacked by Northampton Town in December 2013 with his side rooted to the bottom of the Football League will watch his Under-21 team face Germany in the Silesian city of Tychy for a place in Europe’s most prestigious youth tournament. Since that 2-1 loss in Mannheim last July England’s age-group sides have embarked on a remarkable run of 17 wins from the 20 matches they have played in tournaments, the only defeat coming in a shootout in the final of the European Under-17 Championship against Spain last month. That was followed just over a fortnight ago by a first global success since 1966 and all that when many of the players in Boothroyd’s charge last year became Under-20 world champions in South Korea by beating Venezuela after an inspirational comeback against Italy in the semi-final. Six Germany players who could threaten England’s Euro Under-21 hopes Read more Now, with a meeting with England’s bête noire on the horizon, the man who watched the Euro 96 semi-final in Baildon Woodbottom working men’s club in Shipley while Stefan Kuntz, his opposite number in the dugout on Tuesday night, was scoring the equalising goal against Terry Venables’s team at Wembley, is desperate to make his own piece of history. “If someone said to me after the match, if we’ve lost: ‘Well done for getting to the semi-final,’ I won’t like that,” Boothroyd said. “This is the sort of issue that we have. In order for us to be better, we’ve got to go and win these games. You’ve got to make these opportunities count.” He added: “The Germans, the Spanish, any team that has been successful, if you look at their track record, if you delve into their history, they have won these tournaments. The age groups, from 16 to 21, the teams winning those go on to win the senior tournaments – that’s a fact. The problem we have is that we get players to a certain ceiling and then they can’t get into Premier League teams because other players are bought. That’s a problem, but we can’t do too much Carlos Dunlap Womens Jersey about thatWith Everton’s new £30m goalkeeper, Jordan Pickford, behind them and Mawson forming a formidable partnership with a rejuvenated Calum Chambers at the centre of a defence who have conceded only one goal, England can confidently approach the meeting with Germany. Boothroyd will hope late fitness tests for Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Redmond of Southampton will allow two of his most experienced players to feature, with the former more unlikely, although in Will Hughes and Tammy Abraham he has more than able deputies. The only stumbling block appears to be what to expect from their opponents, who were disappointing in their final group match against Italy but would be dangerous to underestimate at the business end of any tournament. Boothroyd embraced the inevitable questions about shootouts in the knowledge his players have been practising feverishly behind closed doors since meeting up at the end of May. Kuntz, who scored the fifth penalty in the Euro 96 victory over England decided by a shootout, admitted his side had made no such plans but was wary of taking anything for granted. “We have followed the last success of England’s youth teams with the Under-20s becoming world champions and the Under-17s reaching the final,” he said. “England have done a good job with their youth players so we know it will be a very difficult game for us

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