England win U17 World Cup: ‘We are heading where we want to go’ – Cooper

Kay Mellor
Highlights: England beat Spain to win U17 World Cup

England’s Under-17 World Cup victory reflects the “good work” being done in youth development and provides further proof it is heading “where we want to go”, says manager Steve Cooper.

Saturday’s win over Spain secured England’s third major youth title of 2017, after the Under-20 World Cup and the Under-19 European Championship.

England trailed Spain 2-0 after 31 minutes but came back to triumph 5-2.

“We’ve played like we want all of our England teams to play,” Cooper said.

“Brave on the ball, pass, pass, pass, not one long ball, get into good areas, play as a team and some good individual play up the field as well.

“I am just so proud of the performance. We played our way back in, and stuck to our style. We are building for the future, and that is the way to do it.”

Spain had beaten England’s Under-17s in the European Championship final in May, but goals from Morgan Gibbs-White, Marc Guehi, tournament top scorer Rhian Brewster and player of the tournament Phil Foden replied to Barcelona forward Sergio Gomez’s double in Calcutta.

The Three Lions had never before progressed beyond the quarter-finals in the tournament and Cooper said the result “tells you everything about the character of the English players”.

He told the FA’s website: “This trophy is a dedication to the good work being done back in England with the club academies and the development of young players.

“For me, it’s recognition of where English football not just is, but where it can go and where we want it to go.

“The feeling is… I’m speechless. It’s a little bit surreal and I think I’ll feel a little bit better tomorrow when we actually realise what we’ve done.”

England’s golden year at youth level

19 May: England lose to Spain on penalties in the European Under-17 Championship final