England Under-20s celebrate winning the World Cup
Dan Ashworth has been delighted with the success enjoyed by England teams this summer and believes it is a good platform for the Football Association to build on.
England have claimed a number of prestigious titles at youth level over the past month, with the boys winning the Under-20 World Cup, the Under-20 Toulon Tournament and the European Under-19 Championship, while the women’s Under-23 team also prevailed in the Nordic Tournament.
The Under-17 and Under-21s also impressed in their European Championships, reaching the final and semi-finals respectively and further success could follow with the women’s World Cup and Under-19 Euro finals still to come this summer.
Ashworth, the FA’s technical director, knows there is plenty of work still to do if the men’s and women’s teams are to enjoy major success at senior level, but he believes we are seeing the benefits of having a national base at St George’s Park and is excited by what the future holds.
Speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on Monday, Ashworth said: “We are all absolutely delighted. It has been a really good summer for us in the boys and the girls games so far, with two big tournaments to go for the girls.
“It has been a promising summer but we are the first to acknowledge that it doesn’t mean we have solved all the problems and we are guaranteed success from here to come. It has just been a good summer and something for us to build on.
“There is a real sense of togetherness and club spirit. The Under-19s for example were sent numerous messages before the final on Saturday by a lot of players – Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling, Nathaniel Chalobah, James Ward-Prowse. Players from across the age groups had taken the time to post an online message to wish the boys well.
“That is the sense we get from St George’s Park and joining it all up and some excellent work by the coaches and some really good work by the clubs because the players come to us technically and tactically able. And, without the work of the clubs, we wouldn’t be able to compete and win tournaments.”