SEVEN Burton Albion Academy players trained with the England under 20s and under 21s at St George’s Park during the international break.
In order to prepare for their international fixtures during the break, the sides required players in certain positions to train with them as a result of injuries, which meant that Daniel Cooke, Jayden Cotterill, Reece Hutchinson and Jack Bromfield were all sent to train with Keith Downing's under 20s side.
Forwards James Harrison and Jake Davies trained with the under 21s, featuring a number of players who made it to the semi-finals of the 2017 U-21 European Championship, as did defender Nathan Morley.
Professional Development Phase Lead Coach Sam Rose is pleased that the Academy can have the opportunity to help out the national sides, while also providing young Burton players with some good experience.
He said: “We have got a good working relationship with the FA, especially with Eric Steele (u20s goalkeeping coach) and Tim Dittmer (u21s goalkeeping coach). The players were selected based on the positional requirements of those sides, but they are also players that we knew were going to go and give a good account of themselves and our Academy.
“I think that the England sides had a couple of injuries and needed some extra bodies to keep up with the requirements of their training sessions, so instead of changing what they had planned they afford the opportunities to clubs like ourselves to put players in and give our players an outstanding experience that they are never going to forget.
“For the FA and the English national squads to trust us to provide players of a standard to cope with the demands of their sessions is obviously very good for the club and the Academy. We are pleased when we can tell the lads that they are going to train with the England under 20s or under 21s.
“I think the entire experience is great for them. They can hear how the coaches are interacting with the players and the information that is being given to them at that elite level. Hopefully the players can learn from the experience.”
All Burton Albion Academy sides train weekly at St George’s Park. Academy Manager Dan Robinson hopes that these relationships will help aid the club in developing players.
He said: “This ongoing relationship with the FA and St George’s Park is something that the club values greatly and we believe that it will help us generate the future players for our first team.”