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Friday, 7 February, 2003, 15:48 GMT
Young Lions look better than ever
England striker Nathan Tyson turns to celebrate his winning goal in the 2-1 victory over Germany
Nathan Tyson celebrates his winner against Germany

Les Reed believes England's current crop of youngsters could be the best the country has ever known.

Reed continued his preparations for next month's World Youth Champions in the United Arab Emirates with a 2-1 win over Germany on Thursday.

Forced to field an inexperienced side because of injury and unavailability, Reed saw some new young hopefuls play themselves into World Championship contention.

England Under-20 star names
Wayne Rooney
(Everton)
James Milner
(Leeds)
James McEveley
(Blackburn)
Michael Chopra
(Newcastle)
Michael Tonge
(Sheff Utd)
Carlton Cole
(Chelsea)
Sadly for Tyson, he will not be part of that squad, though Reed tipped him as a future England Under-21 prospect following his remarkable international debut.

Nathan Tyson was the two-goal hero on his England debut, though the Reading striker is ineligible for next month's UAE tournament.

"Tyson is in an age group above and that's a great shame. But if someone comes up with a dodgy birth certificate I'd love to take him," joked Reid.

But England did have enough other heroes - with Newcastle's Michael Chopra catching the eye against the Germans - to ensure Reed heads to the UAE full of confidence.

Not just for this tournament, but for England's international future.

"I said about five years ago that I believed we had a pool of young talented players that could develop into quality players to compare with anywhere else on any of the continents," Reed told this website.

"The Academy system and the work we have done over those years has proven that we have got talent.

"It's there and we have worked out how to develop it and bring it to the fore.

Liverpool midfielder John Welsh in action for England Under-20s against Germany
Liverpool's John Welsh impressed against Germany
"In this squad, there are 15 or 16 players who are currently playing Premiership or first-team football - and that's a great thing for English football."

The rapid development of England's young heroes may actually hinder Reed's World Championship hopes, with a number of players unlikely to be released by their clubs.

Everton striker Wayne Rooney and James Milner, of Leeds, are likely to be too critical to their sides' Premiership campaigns to be released for the UAE.

"It makes things difficult for me in terms of the World Championships but my job is to develop the talent and if the pool is getting bigger then that can only be good for the future," said Reed.

I'm confident that whoever we take we are going to have a decent squad

England coach Les Reed

"I'm confident that whoever we take we are going to have a decent squad."

"It was a fantastic night at the end of a fantastic week," said Tyson, who revealed he had achieved one of his footballing ambitions in playing for his country.

At 20, he still has plenty of time to fulfil his remaining goals - though he has set his standards high.

"When I was eight I told people all the things I wanted to do and this is one of my goals achieved.

"I said I wanted to win the FA Cup, play for England and win the World Cup.

"And I probably shouldn't say this, but I have always been a Manchester United fan so I would love to play for them one day."

 HOME NATIONS
 HOME NATIONS

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.


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