Goalkeeper to travel for double-header in MexicoWe are pleased to report that Reading Academy goalkeeper Luke Southwood has been selected for the England Under-19 squad for their forthcoming trip to Mexico.
The Young Lions will take on their Latin American counterparts in a double-header of friendly fixtures on Saturday 4th June and Monday 6th June. Both fixtures take place at Centro de Alto Rendimiento, just outside Mexico City.
Southwood, who has been involved in England training camps before, is one of three players to be selected to feature in national team fixtures for the first time and could make his bow for his country next month. He links up with some of the brightest young talent in the country, including players from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Aidy Boothroyd’s U19s will be embarking on their final preparations ahead of the European Under-19 Championships in Germany this summer, which kicks off the day after the Euro 2016 final in Paris.
England qualified by finishing top of their Elite Round group in March ahead of Georgia, Greece and group hosts (and 2015 winners) Spain. Now they will face Netherlands, Croatia and competition hosts France in the finals tournament later in the summer; progression beyond the group stage will result in qualification for the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea next year.
Goalie Southwood has had a positive season with the Royals’ Under-18s. As well as helping Reading’s Academy team to 7th in England in 2015/16, he also caught the eye with some stunning saves – no less than in the FA Youth Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Mexico will certainly provide tough opposition, as they have a strong track record in recent years in youth tournaments. They won the Under-17 World Cup in both 2005 and 2011, as well as their Under-23 team taking the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Ahead of the squad selection, U19 coach Aidy Boothroyd said: “Mexico on their own patch will be a different proposition as it’ll be a different altitude and climate which we’ll have to get used to and I’m hoping that we’ll use that to our advantage when we come to getting the players prepared for July.
“It will be hot in Germany, so Mexico is a good way to assess where the players are at and we can use that time to not only play against a strong footballing nation but also to prepare ourselves for our own European tournament.”
We wish the very best of luck to Luke and his England teammates for their trip to Mexico.
The squad in full is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United), Sam Howes (West Ham United), Luke Southwood (Reading).
Defenders: Cameron Borthwick-Jackson (Manchester United), Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), Callum Connolly (Everton), Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), Tafari Moore (Arsenal), Taylor Moore (RC Lens), Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur).
Midfielders: Lewis Cook (Leeds United), Ryan Ledson (Everton), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal), Joshua Onomah (Tottenham Hotspur), Reece Oxford (West Ham United), Jordan Rossiter (Liverpool).
Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United), Isaiah Brown (Chelsea), Ademola Lookman (Charlton Athletic), Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool), Dominic Solanke (Chelsea).