Danny Loader and his England teammates ended their stay in Toulon with a convincing 4-0 win over Guatemala, confirming a ninth-place finish in the Maurice Revello Tournament.
Loader featured as a substitute in two of Paul Simpson’s opening group games against Japan and Portugal, starting the play-off game against Guatemala as the Young Lions netted all four goals inside the first half.
After a delayed start due to a venue change, George Hirst from OH Leuven scored the opener after 15 minutes when he met Dwight McNeil’s cross with a superb header.
Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah followed up from the penalty spot to double England’s advantage in the 23rd minute.
Three minutes later, Hirst grabbed his second and the game's third, heading home another cross delivered this time by Tom Pearce.
McNeil then rounded off the scoring inside half-an-hour with his first goal for the Young Lions and confirm ninth place in the final rankings, as England’s run of three successive Toulon titles came to an end.
Although not the exit they were hoping for, for Loader its been a hugely successful year both at club and international level.
22 appearances and a debut senior goal in the Championship, followed by a step-up in the age groups to represent England’s U20 at a prestigious tournament. It’s all valuable experience and part of the learning curve for a talented teenager here at Reading.
After a much-deserved break, attentions will turn firmly back to Reading as preparations for the 2019-20 Championship season get underway when the team return to training on Monday 1st July.