Marcus Braddock previews Sunday's England v Russia U17s game
With this weeks league football finished for Shrewsbury Town, we have the opportunity to see an England international game at Montgomery Waters Meadow. At 1 pm on Sunday afternoon, the under-17 team take on the latest crop of footballing youngsters from the biggest country on the planet, Russia.
England kicked off this mini tournament in style on Friday when they came back from a goal down to beat U.S.A at Chester F.C's Stadium. The Young Lions conceded in the 16th minute when DC United midfielder Griffin Yow put it past young Man City keeper Louie Moulden. England spent the rest of the half looking for an equaliser but went into the break a goal down.
It took just two second half minutes for Arsenal’s Sam Greenwood to get England back on level terms and from there the Young Lions were always in the driving seat. West Brom’s Morgan Rogers scored the second after 71 minutes and Wigan’s Joseph Gelhardt put the game beyond U.S.A with a third in the last minute of normal time after coming on as a substitute.
Ex-Wrexham youth player Steve Cooper spent his playing career exclusively in the League of Wales with the highlight of his career an appearance for Bangor City in the UEFA Cup in 2002. Cooper earned his UEFA Pro coaching license aged 27 and went into coaching in 2005 with Wrexham F.C.s Academy. In 2008 he was named Liverpool's Academy coach where he spent three years. Four years ago this weekend, Cooper was appointed England under 16 coach and took over the under 17's the following year. Under Cooper’s influence, the Young Lions beat Spain in the final of the Under 17 World Cup last year making them World Champions. This year they were eliminated from the competition after losing the semi final on a penalty shoot out.
Ones to Watch.
With this being the cream of the country football wise, there are plenty of performers who you'll want to see more of. For example, amongst Fridays goalscorers are three players who performed well enough to recover from conceding early on. England's opening goalscorer Sam Greenwood has recently joined Arsenal from Sunderland after impressing in The Black Cats Academy for a number of years. Since joining the Gunners he's scored three times for England under 17 including his goal on Friday.
Joseph Gelhard is a Wigan Athletic youngster who has scored four times for England during September and October. Gelhard also made his Latic’s first team debut in the Carabao Cup against Rotherham United in August so things are certainly accelerating quickly for him.
Morgan Rogers is an attacking player who has been with West Broom since he was spotted by a club scout when he was seven. Through his youth career he's forced his way into older age group teams, at just 16 he's already been an unused sub in the Carabao Cup and aged 15 he played 23 minutes in the Baggies CheckaTrade under 21 team who lost 3-1 to Walsall last September. It's not his first trip to the Meadow as he was also an unused substitute in our 3-0 victory over West Brom's under 21's last season. Rogers’s greatest international feat came just last month when he scored a hat-trick as England Under 17s beat Belgium 6-2 to lift the Syrenka Cup in Poland.