RICK JACKSON: Our young stars now need Premiership and Champions League time under their belts

England's triumphant under-17s pose with the World Cup as they arrive back at Heathrow Airport
England's triumphant under-17s pose with the World Cup as they arrive back at Heathrow Airport
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Once again England are football world champions! Congratulations to the under-17s who beat Spain 5-2 in the final last weekend in India, despite being 2-0 down.

What is even more incredible is that the England under-20s also won the World Cup back in June in South Korea.

The last nation to win two World Cup titles in one year were Brazil. This is an awesome achievement and clearly the FA’s plan is starting to work.

But will it see the men’s senior team win the World Cup? That is the ultimate aim. The pressure is now really on us.

Nations whose youth sides lifted these cups have gone on to win the senior World Cup. Spain and Germany being prime examples.

Household names like Xavi, Iniesta, Ozil and Kroos all tasted tournament success in their junior days before going on to lift the greatest trophy of them all.

There is one major difference so far in how this succession plan has gone.

The previously mentioned players all became first teamers with their clubs, like Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Will the kids of the under-17s or under-20s make the first teams of Chelsea and the Manchester clubs?

Only Lewis Cooke from AFC Bournemouth is a regular first team player and Dominic Solanke was sold by Chelsea to Liverpool and rarely features.

England’s under-21s made it to the European Championship semi-finals this year, only to lose to, guess who, on penalties? Germany.

Only a handful of these players play first team football and none plays in a top four team or in the Champions League.

So how are England to progress to the next level when all our talented youngsters end up going by the wayside on loan or sold to a lower league club?

Sadly the Premiership, although a great spectacle for the rest of the world, is a massive handicap to the young England hopefuls.

With Arabs, Russians and Americans owning our clubs and hungry for success, why should they nurture our young talent?


As winter looms ‘Daddy-daycare Wednesday’ is going to be a lot harder from now, because as Paultons Park has gone into hibernation.

We invested in season tickets and although Freddie is only three, he’s tall for his age. So being more than a metre he pays full fare.

He can only go on a few rides, but this doesn’t stop him from loving his Wednesdays there with daddy and Holly.

We’d end up in Peppa Pig World and spend several hours running amok in the soft play area. Now only open at weekends, what will we do on Wednesday afternoons now? Our garden will no doubt turn into a mud pit and the playground on

Stokes Bay seafront sees the swings already swinging into a Force 8 gale.


The clocks have gone back one hour. Why do we still do this? Apparently it’s about daylight saving.

During the First World War Germany first introduced it to increase productivity in the summer months by getting workers up earlier.

The UK followed suit and we’ve carried on with it ever since.

Why? Well, the balance works for us, especially here in the south with kids going to and coming home from school in daylight: 8am to 4pm is better than 9am to 5pm if we stayed in BST. In Scotland, it would be 10am–5pm daylight hours in December.

So while Scotland is still part of the UK, we will continue to move those hour hands every March and October.