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FIFA U-17 World Cup: England coach says team work bigger than Jadon Sancho

In England, we have a very good relationship with the football clubs, says coach Steve Cooper ahead of their FIFA U-17 World Cup opener against Chile.

fifa u17 world cup 2017 Updated: Oct 07, 2017 21:32 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
FIFA U-17 World Cup,FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017,England vs Chile
England player Jadon Sancho trains with his Borussia Dortmund teammates.(Reuters)

Vinicius Junior didn’t make the passage to India. Jadon Sancho did but may leave halfway through the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

Earlier in the year, it was only after Hector Bellerin was bullish about playing the European U-21 Championships that Arsenal relented. For the same competition, Jose Mourinho refused to let Marcus Rashford represent England.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Spain rue defensive lapses, Brazil applaud Kochi support

Instances of players not being released for the Olympics too is commonplace in football in Europe.

So, England coach Steve Cooper was asked here before their FIFA U-17 World Cup opener against Chile on Sunday whether he thinks a case can be made to include this tournament in the FIFA calendar so that clubs will have to release players if they are fit and available.

“The idea is an interesting one,” he said here on Saturday.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Costa Rica coach rues conceding late goal against Germany

“Everybody wants to have players available for the qualifiers and the World Cup. However, we are development teams and in England, of course, a massive part of that is to ensure players get adequate opportunities at their clubs.”

Cooper said that in England the national under-17 team and the clubs have a good relationship. “We communicate very well and plan schedules so that the players get the best of both.”

And even though there was a specific reference to the prodigious Sancho in the question, Cooper replied without naming the Borussia Dortmund player even once.

READ | FIFA U-17 World Cup: Chile seek inspiration from ‘big team’ before England match

“With regard to the player you mentioned, we are about a team. Of course, players make a difference but if we are going to be champions in this tournament or any tournament, players will have to make difference all over the pitch,” said the England coach.

First Published: Oct 07, 2017 21:32 IST