Former Nottingham Forest manager Sean O’Driscoll warned his talented young squad on thefa.com that talent alone will get you nowhere.
The England U19s head coach has taken his 18-man squad to France, where they will play a round-robin group of matches starting on Thursday night against Denmark. The Young Lions will then face Azerbaijan on Saturday before ending their group matches on Tuesday to home nation France.
Although the group of players currently under the tutorship of O’Driscoll could claim to be the most exciting for England in years, the former Bristol City boss has warned his players over keeping their feet on the floor in what could prove to be their most important years for development.
‘’If you look at each of the boys in the squad they are all developing nicely and that is a credit to the clubs,’’ said O’Driscoll.
‘’They are all talented players but they know that talent alone will get you nowhere. And they have all applied themselves correctly.
‘’They have all got their feet on the ground, which is credit to the clubs as well. Our job is to give them that international experience and try and put them in a position where they feel they can do well.
‘’We want them to enjoy international football as well as try and win something.’’
Who are the players to watch in the Under-19s?
Chelsea lead the way with six players in the current 18-man squad, accounting for a third of it, but there are exciting picks from lots of different clubs.
Lewis Cook, who is yet to make his Under-19 bow, has become a key figure in the Leeds United team this season and is proving to be one of the most talented young players in the country.
Harry Winks from Tottenham Hotspur already has five caps at Under-19 level, while Middlesbrough striker Bradley Fewster has five goals in five games for O’Driscoll’s side.
Although at this point it's hard to say whether this England side will live up to it's potential, all the youngsters in the squad have got off to a good start both at club level and internationally.
If the young England side can win their group games and make it to the summer finals in Greece, then it wouldn't be surprising to see them go all the way and win the trophy.