Kolkata: England won the FIFA World Cup way back in 1966 defeating West Germany in the final.England U-17 head coach Steve Cooper said that ultimate aim of all these boys is to win the senior trophy, that has eluded them for 52 years.
“Our long term aim is to win World Cup and European Championship at the senior level. If these boys can keep playing the way they are, regardless of what happens tomorrow, for the long term, we think we will have half a chance of reaching the aims and objectives of winning for the senior team,” Cooper said on the eve of the U-17 summit clash against Spain.
England have never been close to repeating 1966 World Cup heroics but Cooper said they are in the right direction with the DNA development in place at the Football Association.
“We have a plan now at St George’s Park. I’m a big part of that plan. We are only a few years into the plan. Nobody is getting carried away. We will commit to it through the highs and lows.”
“Any good development programme is to play for the first team. We are back of a successful summer. We are in a good moment. If we continue to do that I am sure there would be more opportunities for the players. ” Cooper however refused to take the credit from his boys and said it’s a team game.
“The last thing tomorrow is about is me, it’s about a group of players and staff who are doing their very best to represent the country the best way we can. We have done that, that’s been our attitude so far in the tournament and tomorrow would be no different.”
We know it’s good for us, we know it’s good for the show long term. We are very confident and optimistic. We will never class ourselves as favourites.
England captain Joel Latibeaudiere missed the target in their bitter penalty shootout defeat to the same rivals in the Euro U-17 final but he said he’s become mentally stronger now.
“We have learnt a lot from the game. We are proud of what we have achieved. We are playing Spain again, and are not looking at the past but into the future. It’s about being prepared and ready.”
“It was more like a team game around me. It has made me stronger as a player. I think mentally I’m stronger now. It’s an honour to lead England U-17 in the final, a dream come true. We are confident of our style of play,” he signed off.