We are delighted to report that we have another World Cup winner in our camp, after Danny Loader helped England’s Under-17s to lift their age-group’s most prestigious prize with a 5-2 win against Spain in Kolkata on Saturday!
Loader, who made his Reading first-team debut at the age of 16 earlier this year, was selected for Steve Cooper’s travelling squad to compete in India – linking up with some of the most exciting talents in world football.
And the Royals striker twice featured in the tournament – firstly by playing the duration against Iraq in the group stages and scoring twice, and then from the bench as England booked their semi-final place by defeating USA.
After Luke Southwood was part of the England Under-20 squad which won their World Cup in South Korea earlier this year, we now have two World Cup winners’ medals marked against our youth system!
There had been frustration for the Young Lions earlier in the year when the U17s were on course to lift the European Championship trophy… only to concede a stoppage-time equaliser to Spain, before losing the subsequent penalty shoot-out.
This time, there was different kind of twist. Spain rushed to a two-goal lead through a Sergio Gomez brace, with 66,684 supporters crammed into the Salt Lake Stadium to witness the drama.
But Liverpool’s Rhian Brewster, who had turned heads with hat-tricks in both the quarter-final and semi-final, was the one to grab a goal back just before the half-time whistle was sounded, giving England a route back into the game.
And then it all went England’s way. Morgan Gibbs-White drew England level before the hour-mark, and a Philip Foden brace, either side of a sole strike by Marc Guehi, saw the Young Lions run riot and simply overpower their counterparts from Spain.
An incredible achievement for England’s youth, and cause for optimism going forward. And a huge achievement for an Academy lad who learned his trade on the training pitches at Hogwood Park!
So all at Reading give our huge congratulations go to Danny and all of his teammates and colleagues in the England Under-17 setup on their World Cup success.