Aidy Boothroyd: England Under 21s like 'a reserve team' for seniors

Aidy Boothroyd says England Under 21s are like a ‘club reserve team’ for the senior squad as Gareth Southgate closely inspects Young Lions progress

  • England Under 21s take on Austria Under 21s on Tuesday night in Innkreis 
  • Coach Aidy Boothroyd claims the Young Lions are a reserve team to the seniors 
  • Boothroyd admits Gareth Southgate inspects the progression of his young stars

Aidy Boothroyd likened England Under 21s to a club reserve team given how closely Gareth Southgate is inspecting their progression.

Southgate has preferred to pick debutants from the Young Lions during his tenure and made sure to watch one of Boothroyd’s sessions at St George’s Park last week.

Two of the newest faces, Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood, were sent home from Iceland after indiscretions and it remains to be seen whether they will fall out of Southgate’s squad next month.

Aidy Boothroyd said England Under-21s are essentially now a reserve side for the senior team

Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate (right) has been closely inspecting Boothroyd (left)’s team

But England are attempting to remove the stigma of dropping down from the seniors, with Callum Hudson-Odoi back with the Under 21s ahead of tonight’s European Championship qualifier in Austria.

‘Maybe we’ve produced teams of individuals in the past but now we’re starting to produce teams that have an understanding of how we want to play,’ Boothroyd said.

‘There are special players who do need to be fast-tracked but with our group, look at Callum, who’s come back down, it’s almost like a reserve team in a club.

Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi has been dropped by the senior team but now is in the U21s

‘If you do well and prove you’re a team player, you have a better chance with the seniors. I’m getting excited about some of the football we’re playing at the moment.’

Ben Godfrey added: ‘There hasn’t been a better time to be an England Under 21 player because there is that pathway. That’s massively important that he (Southgate) will give young players a chance. You’re always playing to impress.’

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