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England national under-23 football team

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Title: England national under-23 football team  
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England national under-23 football team

England Under-21
Nickname(s) The Young Lions
Association The Football Association
Head coach Gareth Southgate[1]
Most caps James Milner (46)
Top scorer Alan Shearer &
Francis Jeffers (13)
First colours
Second colours
First international
England England U-21 0–0 Wales U-21 Wales
(Molineux, Wolverhampton; 15 December 1976)
Biggest win
England England U-21 8–1 Finland U-21 Finland
(Boothferry Park, Hull; 12 October 1977)
England England U-21 7–0 Azerbaijan U-21 Azerbaijan
(stadium:mk, Milton Keynes; 9 June 2009)
Biggest defeat
Romania Romania U-21 4–0 England U-21 England
(Ploieşti, Romania; 14 October 1980)
England England U-21 0–4 Spain U-21 Spain
(St Andrews, Birmingham; 27 February 2001)
Germany Germany U-21 4–0 England U-21 England
(Malmö New Stadium, Malmö; 29 June 2009)
UEFA U-21 Championship
Appearances 12 (First in 1978)
Best result Winners 1982, 1984

England's national Under-21 football team, also known as England Under-21s or England U21(s), is considered to be the feeder team for the England national football team.

This team is for English players aged under 21 at the start of the calendar year in which a two-year European Under-21 Football Championship campaign begins, so some players can remain with the squad until the age of 23. As long as they are eligible, players can play for England at any level, making it possible to play for the U21s, senior side, and again for the U21s, as Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson and Danny Welbeck have done recently. It is also possible to play for one country at youth level and another at senior level (providing the player is eligible).

The U-21 team came into existence, following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions, in 1976. A goalless draw in a friendly against Wales at Wolves' Molineux Stadium was England U21s' first result.

England U21s do not have a permanent home. They play in stadia dotted all around England, in an attempt to encourage younger fans in all areas of the country to get behind England. Because of the smaller demand compared to the senior national team, smaller grounds can be used. The record attendance for an England U21 match was set on 24 March 2007, when England U21 played Italy U21 in front of a crowd of just under 60,000 at the brand new Wembley Stadium, also a world record attendance for a U21 game.[2] The match was one of the required two "ramp up" events the stadium hosted in order to gain its safety certificate in time for its full-capacity opening for the 2007 FA Cup Final in May.[3][4]

Coaching staff

Head coach

Tenure Head Coach/Manager
1977–1990 England Dave Sexton
1990–1993 England Lawrie McMenemy
1994–1996 England Dave Sexton
1996–1999 England Peter Taylor
1999 England Peter Reid
1999–2001 England Howard Wilkinson
2001–2004 England David Platt
2004–2007 England Peter Taylor
2007–2013 England Stuart Pearce
2013– England Gareth Southgate

The original and most successful coach is Dave Sexton, who led the U21s from 1977 to 1990. In this period he combined his duties with managing the top-flight clubs Manchester United (1977–1981) and Coventry City (1981–1983). After Coventry he took a position within the FA as their first Technical Director, at Lilleshall. He handed over U21 responsibilities to England manager Graham Taylor's assistant Lawrie McMenemy for three years before resuming control from 1994 to 1996.

Peter Taylor took over in 1996 and, although never winning the tournament, his teams had an excellent record. He was controversially removed from the position in early 1999, however, and replaced initially by Peter Reid, who resigned after just one match in charge to dedicate more time to his other job as manager of Sunderland. Howard Wilkinson took over afterwards, yet could only produce four wins in ten competitive matches and quit after a year and a half in charge. David Platt took charge after his departure from Nottingham Forest. Platt was U21 boss from 2001 to 2004, but had little success before Taylor's return. Taylor left in January 2007, as the senior national manager Steve McClaren wanted the U21s to have a full-time manager. Taylor, at the time, was combining his duties with his role as Crystal Palace boss.

On 1 February 2007, Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce was appointed as head coach on a part-time basis until after the European Championships in the summer of 2007. Nigel Pearson, Newcastle United's assistant manager, agreed to become Pearce's assistant. Their first match in charge was a 2–2 draw against Spain on 6 February 2007 at Derby County's Pride Park Stadium. For the match against Italy Nigel Pearson took charge as Stuart Pearce had club commitments. Steve Wigley assisted Pearson.

Pearce was dismissed as Manchester City manager on 14 May 2007, before the 2007 European Championships, but on 19 July 2007 he was named full-time U21s coach.[5] He remained in the post until June 2013, when it was announced that his contract would not be renewed.[6] On 31 July, the FA announced that England senior manager Roy Hodgson would take charge of an England U21 friendly match against Scotland at Bramall Lane,[7] the match ended in a 6–0 win for Hodgson's side.[8] Former England international Gareth Southgate was made manager of the under-21 team on 22 August.[9]

Other staff

Coaches England Steve Holland[10]
England Brian Eastick
Goalkeeping Coach Wales Martin Thomas[11]
Physiotherapists England Dave Galley[12]
England Derek Wright[12]
Doctor England Dr. Richard Higgins[13]
Masseur England Stewart Welsh
Exercise Scientist England Craig Boyd
Performance Analyst England Keith Mincher
Video Analyst England Mike Baker
Kit Manager England Neil Jones

Competition History

As a European U21 team, England compete for the European Championship, with the finals every odd-numbered year, formerly even-numbered years. There is no Under-21 World Cup, although there is an Under-20 World Cup. For the first six (1978–1988) European Under-21 Football Championships, England did well, getting knocked out in the semi-finals on four occasions and winning the competition in 1982 and 1984. Then, as one might expect with a rapid turnover of players, followed a lean period.

After losing to France in the 1988 semi final, England then failed to qualify for the last eight for five whole campaigns. In the qualifying stages for the 1998 tournament, England won their group, but fate was not on their side. Because there were nine groups, and only eight places, the two group-winning nations with worst records had to play-off to eliminate one of them. England lost the away leg of this extra qualifying round and were eliminated on away goals to Greece. In effect, England finished ninth in the competition despite losing only one of their ten matches.

England qualified for the 2000 finals comfortably. Under the 1996-appointed Peter Taylor England won every match without conceding a goal. But with 3 matches to play, Taylor was replaced in a controversial manner by Howard Wilkinson, who won the next two matches. The three goals conceded in the 3–1 defeat to group runners-up Poland were the only blemish on the team's qualifying record. England got knocked out in the group stage of the European Championship finals in 2000 under Wilkinson.

After enlisting former international star David Platt as manager, England qualified for the 2002 tournament in Switzerland. Again England did poorly in the group stage. Platt's England failed to qualify for the 2004 tournament and he was replaced by the returning Peter Taylor. Taylor's England qualified from the group but lost to a strong France team in a two-legged playoff and failed to qualify for the 2006 tournament.

The next campaign started shortly after the 2006 finals – the qualification stage of the 2007 competition. UEFA decided to shift the tournament forward to avoid a clash with senior tournaments taking place in even-numbered years. The qualification stage was heavily reduced, being completed in a year's less time. In a 3-team qualification group, England qualified over Switzerland and Moldova, and then won a two-legged play-off with Germany to qualify for the finals to be held in the Netherlands. At the tournament, England progressed through to the semi-finals where they led for the majority of the match against the hosts. However, after a late equaliser and a marathon penalty shootout, England were eliminated.

In 2009, England finished as runners-up, losing 4–0 to Germany in the final.

England finished second in their qualifying group for the 2011 championships in Denmark. They subsequently defeated Romania in the play-offs to qualify for the finals tournament, where they were knocked out in the group stage after a 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic.

Year Progress
1978 Semi Final
1980 Semi Final
1982 Champions
1984 Champions
1986 Semi Final
1988 Semi Final
1990 Failed to qualify
2000 Group Stage
2002 Group Stage
2004 Failed to qualify
2007 Semi Final
2009 Final
2011 Group Stage
2013 Group Stage

Note: The year of the tournament represents the year in which it ends.

Results and fixtures 2013–2015

2015 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship

Main article: 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship


Main article: 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification
Group stage
Main article: 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification Group 1

Friendly matches


Leading appearances

Rank Player Club(s) U-21 Caps
1 James Milner Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa 46
2 Tom Huddlestone Derby County, Tottenham Hotspur 33
Fabrice Muamba Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers 33
4 Michael Mancienne Chelsea, Hamburg 30
5 Scott Carson Leeds United, Liverpool 29
Steven Taylor Newcastle United 29
Danny Rose Tottenham Hotspur 29
8 Jamie Carragher Liverpool 27
Gareth Barry Aston Villa 27
Jordan Henderson Sunderland, Liverpool 27

Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s. Those players in bold are still eligible to play for the team at the moment.

Leading goalscorers

Rank Player Club(s) U-21 Goals
1 Alan Shearer Southampton 13
Francis Jeffers Everton, Arsenal 13
3 Frank Lampard West Ham United 9
Darren Bent Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic 9
James Milner Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa 9
6 Mark Hateley Coventry City, Portsmouth 8
Carl Cort Wimbledon 8
8 Mark Robins Manchester United 7
Shola Ameobi Newcastle United 7
Jermain Defoe West Ham United 7

Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s. Those players in bold are still eligible to play for the team at the moment.

Current squad

Players born on or after 1 January 1992 are eligible until the end of the 2015 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. Names in italics denote players who have been capped for the Senior team.

The following players were named in the squad for the 2015 European Under-21 Championship qualification matches against San Marino and Lithuania.[14][15]

Name DOB Club Caps (goals)
Jack Butland (1993-03-10) 10 March 1993 (age 21) England Barnsley (on loan from Stoke City) 16 (0)
Jonathan Bond (1993-05-19) 19 May 1993 (age 21) England Watford 0 (0)
George Long (1993-11-05) 5 November 1993 (age 20) England Sheffield United 0 (0)
Jack Robinson (1993-09-01) 1 September 1993 (age 20) England Blackpool (on loan from Liverpool) 7 (1)
Michael Keane (1993-01-11) 11 January 1993 (age 21) England Manchester United 6 (1)
John Stones (1994-05-28) 28 May 1994 (age 20) England Everton 5 (0)
Eric Dier (1994-01-15) 15 January 1994 (age 20) Portugal Sporting CP 3 (0)
Carl Jenkinson (1992-02-08) 8 February 1992 (age 22) England Arsenal 2 (0)
Luke Shaw (1995-07-12) 12 July 1995 (age 19) England Southampton 2 (0)
Nathaniel Chalobah (1994-12-12) 12 December 1994 (age 19) England Nottingham Forest (on loan from Chelsea) 11 (0)
Tom Carroll (1992-05-28) 28 May 1992 (age 22) England Queens Park Rangers (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur) 6 (1)
James Ward-Prowse (1994-11-01) 1 November 1994 (age 19) England Southampton 4 (1)
Ravel Morrison (1993-02-02) 2 February 1993 (age 21) England West Ham United 2 (2)
Wilfried Zaha (1992-11-10) 10 November 1992 (age 21) England Manchester United 12 (1)
Tom Ince (1992-01-30) 30 January 1992 (age 22) England Blackpool 10 (2)
Nathan Redmond (1994-03-06) 6 March 1994 (age 20) England Norwich City 8 (1)
Raheem Sterling (1994-12-08) 8 December 1994 (age 19) England Liverpool 6 (1)
Sammy Ameobi (1992-05-01) 1 May 1992 (age 22) England Newcastle United 5 (0)
Jesse Lingard (1992-12-15) 15 December 1992 (age 21) England Birmingham City (on loan from Manchester United) 2 (0)
Harry Kane (1993-07-28) 28 July 1993 (age 21) England Tottenham Hotspur 4 (3)
Saido Berahino (1993-08-04) 4 August 1993 (age 20) England West Bromwich Albion 3 (4)
Nick Powell (1994-03-23) 23 March 1994 (age 20) England Wigan Athletic (on loan from Manchester United) 2 (0)
Danny Ings (1992-07-23) 23 July 1992 (age 22) England Burnley 1 (0)

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the England under-21 squad and remain eligible:

Name DOB Club Caps (goals) Most recent call-up
Sam Johnstone (1993-03-25) 25 March 1993 (age 21) England Yeovil Town (on loan from Manchester United) 0 (0) v  Scotland, 13 August 2013
Andre Wisdom (1993-05-09) 9 May 1993 (age 21) England Derby County (on loan from Liverpool) 10 (0) v  Moldova/ Finland, 5/9 September 2013
Tom Thorpe (1993-01-13) 13 January 1993 (age 21)[16] England Manchester United 1 (0) v  Moldova/ Finland, 5/9 September 2013
Ezekiel Fryers (1992-09-09) 9 September 1992 (age 21) England Tottenham Hotspur 0 (0) v  Moldova/ Finland, 5/9 September 2013
Todd Kane (1993-09-17) 17 September 1993 (age 20) England Blackburn Rovers (on loan from Chelsea) 0 (0) v  Moldova/ Finland, 5/9 September 2013
Luke Garbutt (1993-05-21) 21 May 1993 (age 21) England Colchester United (on loan from Everton) 0 (0) v  Scotland, 13 August 2013
Phil Jones (1992-02-21) 21 February 1992 (age 22) England Manchester United 9 (0) v  Sweden, 5 February 2013
Liam Moore (1993-01-31) 31 January 1993 (age 21) England Leicester City 1 (0) v  Northern Ireland, 13 November 2012
Harry Maguire (1993-03-05) 5 March 1993 (age 21) England Sheffield United 1 (0) v  Northern Ireland, 13 November 2012
Jon Flanagan (1993-01-01) 1 January 1993 (age 21) England Liverpool 3 (0) v  Iceland, 10 November 2011
Will Hughes (1995-04-07) 7 April 1995 (age 19) England Derby County 4 (0) v  Lithuania/ San Marino, 10/15 October 2013*
Jonjo Shelvey (1992-02-27) 27 February 1992 (age 22) Wales Swansea City 13 (4) v  Moldova/ Finland, 5/9 September 2013*
Ross Barkley (1993-12-05) 5 December 1993 (age 20) England Everton 5 (1) v  Scotland, 13 August 2013
Josh McEachran (1993-03-01) 1 March 1993 (age 21) England Watford (on loan from Chelsea) 13 (1) 2013 European Championship, 5–18 June 2013
Gary Gardner (1992-06-29) 29 June 1992 (age 22) England Aston Villa 5 (2) v  Belgium, 29 February 2012
Jack Wilshere (1992-01-01) 1 January 1992 (age 22) England Arsenal 7 (0) 2011 European Championship provisional squad, 11–25 June 2011
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (1993-08-15) 15 August 1993 (age 20) England Arsenal 8 (4) v  Belgium, 29 February 2012
Connor Wickham (1993-03-31) 31 March 1993 (age 21) England Sunderland 17 (6) v  Moldova/ Finland, 5/9 September 2013
Benik Afobe (1993-02-12) 12 February 1993 (age 21) England Arsenal 2 (1) v  Sweden, 5 February 2013
Will Keane (1993-01-11) 11 January 1993 (age 21) England Manchester United 3 (0) v  Belgium, 29 February 2012

*Player withdrew from the squad without playing in a game.

Past squads


External links

  • Official FA England Under-21 website Contains listings of current England U-21 players.
  • Uefa Under-21 website Contains full results archive
  • The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation Contains full record of U-21 Championship hosts and additional statistics, such as the Group Winners table for the 1998 qualifiers.

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