Royals youngster Danny Loader plays an influencial role in Young Lions Euro qualifiers...Royals’ academy forward Danny Loader received another call up for the England U17’s to represent the Young Lions as the squad looked to secure a place in the elite round of 2017 UEFA European Under-17 Championship qualifiers.
Loader’s England faced a round-robin qualification group to try and progress, coming up against Azerbaijan on the 25th of October before facing hosts of the fixtures Romania two days later, and finishing the group with a tie against Austria on Sunday the 30th.
Despite not being involved in the opening match of the trio of fixtures – which England won 2-0 against Azerbaijan – Loader did feature in the second tie. The second match, a clash with hosts of Group 6 Romania, saw Loader make an appearance off the bench for the Young Lions.
Two early strikes from Manchester City’s Phil Phoden got the game off to a great start for England, with the attacker netting twice within the opening 13 minutes. England were well in control and saw the first half out with the 2-0 scoreline intact. The U17s added to their lead early in the second period when another of City youngster, Jadon Sancho, converted from the penalty spot.
Loader was introduced to the action with just under 20 minutes to play for goal scorer Sancho. The Reading youngster looked dangerous in attack, with the Young Lions seeing out a solid 3-0 win and taking a big step towards qualification to the Elite round.
The final match of Group 6 was against closest rivals Austria as both sides looked to secure their place in the next round. Loader was named in England’s starting XI after impressing from the bench against Romania. The Reading academy youngster and his teammates found themselves behind on the 28th minute after Thierno Ballo turned in a Nicholas Wunsch free-kick.
England responded quickly and effectively however, levelling the scores when Newcastle’s Lewis Gibson fired home on the stroke of half-time.
Loader had his moment minutes after the beginning of the second half, with the striker slotting home on the 48th minute after he was quickest to react to teammate Rhian Brewster’s shot which rattled off the post.
They extended their lead from the penalty sport on the 65th minute, and despite a 78th minute goal from the Austrians, the U17s held out to make it three wins out of three and take another significant step towards Euro 2017 qualification.
Loader will be hopeful of another call-up for the Young Lions when they play their next round of fixtures in the Elite round. The striker has featured heavily for the U17s in recent months including goals against Greece and Germany as England won the Croatia Cup at the beginning of October.
The Elite round draw will take place on the 13th of December with England in Pot A in the 32 team draw. This will see the U17s as top seeds in their final qualification group of four teams, with the Elite round of fixtures set to take place in the spring of 2017.