United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Tunnicliffe and Fryers help England U17 join the elite

Posted by nickogs20 on October 28, 2008

United U16s Ryan Tunnicliffe and Ezekiel Fryers played their part as England U17s progressed from the first round through to the Elite qualifying stage for next summer’s U17 European Championships.

John Peacock’s side faced Spain, Estonia and Armenia in their four team mini-tournament, with the top two in the group after everyone had faced each other progressing to the Elite stage. The matches took place over six days on the Spanish island of Tenerife, presumably a welcome break for the English kids from the ever-encroaching winter on these shores.

Armenia were the first obstacle in England’s way, both Fryers and Tunnicliffe starting the opening match at left-back and in central midfield respectively. England would have been expected to pick up a relatively comfortable three points but it didn’t pan out that way, a physical and disciplined Armenian side frustrating their more illustrious opponents and holding them to a 0-0 draw.

With Spain beating Estonia 6-0 in their opening fixture, the pressure was on England to respond when they faced the Estonians next up and they didn’t disappoint. Indeed, they bettered the Spanish effort with a 7-0 rout, Tunnicliffe playing his part throughout and netting the seventh goal late on. Fryers dropped down to the bench for this one.

Spain’s victory over Armenia on the same day secured them qualification and left England needing just a point from their final game against the host nation to be sure of joining them. Spain are perhaps Europe’s dominant force at this level in recent years so there being nothing riding on the game for them was undoubtedly of benefit to the English cause, and as it happened the Spanish had to rely on an unfortunate late own goal from Fryers to earn a draw from the game – 1-1 it finished. Fryers had come on as a substitute for Chelsea’s Billy Knott in the second half, while Tunnicliffe wasn’t even named as a substitute – injury really being the only feasible explanation.

Qualification in the bag, England can now sit back and relax while the rest of the first stage is completed, with the draw for the elite round expected to be held in December.

3 Responses to “Tunnicliffe and Fryers help England U17 join the elite”

  1. The Gaffer said

    Great to know that they both helped.
    I always thought it.


  2. revolter said

    I think its good for their development playing for England in these tournaments and hopefully they will have done well enough to stay in the squad for the next round.

    PS. Tunnicliffe was suspended in the game against Spain after collecting two yellow cards in the other two games.

  3. nickogs20 said

    Cheers for that Revolter, makes sense.

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