It’s a record 11th appearance at the UEFA U17 Euros for England, now two-time winners. Steve Cooper will guide a side who were managed by John Peacock, now at Derby County, for so long. It’s a side with promise, and Reiss Nelson and Andre Dozzell stand out among others. Dozzell made his debut for Ipswich Town recently, scoring within minutes.
It wasn’t all easy for England in the initial stages of qualifying, needing to beat tough opponents in Portugal to finish top. They did so with relative ease, though, beginning with an 8-0 thumping of San Marino, Europe’s whipping boys at all levels of the game, before a 5-0 victory against Armenia.
Portugal were tougher, and Cooper’s side got a 1-1 draw, meaning they finished top only on goal difference. Reiss Nelson played his part in the goal difference victory, scoring a hattrick against Armenia. There were a total of eight different goalscorers in the opener two games. Trevor Chalobah’s early goal was cancelled out by Benfica’s João Filipe against Portugal.
England could only settle for second in Elite Qualifying, behind Ukraine. This time, it was Cooper’s side losing out on goal difference. They hosted the qualifying round, playing across their own country, but a 1-1 draw with Ukraine saw them in second. Olexiy Sich scored in the second half after Martell Tayler-Crossdale, who is missing from the squad for the tournament, gave England the lead at the Harrison Park Stadium.
They had comfortably beaten Finland and Turkey, 1-0 and 3-1 respectively thanks to two goals from Reiss Nelson and one each for the impressive Jonathan Leko and Dozzell.
Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) - Winger and number 10
With six goals in six qualifying games, Nelson is the obvious standout. At club level, too, he has impressed. He’s played above his age group consistently, often being selected for Arsenal’s under-21 side despite the inclusion of senior players returning from injury like Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere.
Mason Mount (Chelsea) - Midfielder
Has played a limited role for Chelsea this season, although when he has come on as a substitute, he has impressed, particularly in the Blues' UEFA Youth League campaign where they retained the trophy. A traditional box-to-box midfielder with good efforts from long range, could provide vital in attacking impetus. May play alongside Ryan Sessegnon of Fulham who has recently been linked to Arsenal.
Group C: France (2015 winners), England, Denmark and Sweden.
Friday, May 6th: England - Sweden
Monday, May 9th: France - England (Live on Eurosport 2)
Thursday, May 12th: England - Denmark
Full 18-man squad
Jared Thompson (Chelsea), Ryan Sandford (Millwall)
Trevoh Chalobah (Chelsea), Edward Francis (Manchester City), Tolaji Bola (Arsenal), Dujon Sterling (Chelsea), Jaden Brown (Tottenham Hotspur), Morgan Feeney (Everton)
Marcus McGuane (Arsenal), Andre Dozzell (Ipswich Town), Dennis Adeniran (Fulham), Mason Mount (Chelsea), Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)
Reiss Nelson (Arsenal), Ben Morris (Ipswich Town), Joshua Bohui (Brentford), Samuel Shashoua (Tottenham Hotspur), George Hirst (Sheffield Wednesday)