United Youth

Manchester United Reserves & Academy News

Euro U17s: Johnstone gets his chance but Young Lions make early exit

Posted by nickogs20 on May 13, 2009

England’s U17 side have crashed out of the 2009 UEFA European U17 Championships, missing out on a place at this year’s FIFA U17 World Cup in the process, after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Turkey in their final group game.

United midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, who had featured in England’s first two games, missed out the crunch clash with the Turks due to injury, but Reds goalkeeper Sam Johnstone made his first start of the tournament, having deputised for Norwich’s Jed Steer against both Holland and hosts Germany. England went into the game needing a comprehensive win to give themselves a chance of finishing in second place in the group and progressing to the knockout stages, while the only thing Turkey had to play for was third place in the group and a place at the U17 World Cup.

The game was an even one, Turkey seeing plenty of possession (without giving Johnstone a great deal to do) while England perhaps created the better chances, Arsenal’s Benik Afobe being among those guilty of spurning the opportunities created. Turkey’s ‘keeper Deniz Mehmet, once on United’s books, foiled Afobe, Lateef Ellford-Alliyu and Jacob Walcott with smart saves.

As the clock ticked down and the game entered its last ten minutes, the likelihood of John Peacock’s young side recording the 3-0 win required to climb above Holland and into second place receded into ‘slim to none’ territory, but England at least had third place and World Cup qualification to fall back on… that is until forward Furkan Seker seized on a loose ball in the English box, rounded Johnstone and rolled into the unguarded net to break English hearts and assure Turkey of their place in the World Cup in Nigeria later this year.

Huge disappointment for England, but Peacock’s squad was the youngest at the Championships, with several players stepping up from the U16s and still eligible for next year’s tournament. That lack of experience and development ultimately told, but may stand the Young Lions in good stead heading into next season. For Tunnicliffe and Johnstone, two of those still eligible for the U17 side next year, the experience of tournament football will be terrific experience for them as they head into their first season as full-time scholars with United.

As for this tournament, Switzerland will face the Netherlands and Italy will take on Germany in the semi-finals to decide who will contest the final, to be held in Magdeburg this coming Monday.

9 Responses to “Euro U17s: Johnstone gets his chance but Young Lions make early exit”

  1. Keano! said


    How can I have my blog listed on the right hand coloum? :)

    Thanks, great site

  2. Steve Collins said

    How does a boy with such limited ability play for England?.I have read the England v Turkey match report on UEFA.com website and spoken to people who watched the game live in Germany.Judging by the report the turkish goalkeeper started makeing saves as early as the 2nd minute of the game yet I understand that we were lucky not to lose by more goals.Because Johnstone’s handling and decision makimg was poor to say the least,if he is the best keeper we’ve got at this level then there is no wonder we are not going to the U17s world cup.

  3. nickogs20 said

    Cheers for that insightful comment. Always great to hear opinions from people who haven’t actually watched the player in question play.

  4. derek white said

    I was staying in the same hotel as the Man U scouts in Germany during the U17s euros in 2009 I heard the Man U scouts saying that they thought their goalkeeper Sam Johnstone was better than the Norwich keeper Jed Steer after England lost 4-0 to Germany and that Sam should play against Turkey in the last game of the tournament for a place at U17s world cup in Nigeria.What a mistake that was by John peacock to pick him.We were better than the Turks yet we still lost,Johnstone was very poor we were lucky not to lose by much more, against a better oposition it would have been a lot worse.I wonder what the Man U scouts thought after the game,felt prety silly I bet.a bit late for my comment but just seen this and could not refuse the opportunity.

  5. nickogs20 said

    I bet they felt dead silly yeah – I’m sure one bad game (in your opinion) is definitely enough to make them entirely revise their opinion.

    • derek white said

      Its not just one bad game,what about the 2 goals he let in against the belgians recently (ive seen the game),what about the goal against Sunderland playing for Man U U18s the ball went through his hands(we all thought he had it) and the goal he let in against Portsmouth in the FA youth cup at Moss lane when it looked impossible to get beat at his near post yet somehow he was beaten.I love going to carrington to watch Man U games,you see a lot of talented boys but I agree with Steve Collins above .

  6. Bertie Ahern said

    Derek White obviously has a small penis but a large chip on his shoulder!

  7. nickogs20 said

    ‘Derek’ – Thought you might agree with ‘Steve’, seeing as you seem to have the same email address as him. Funny that.

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