From Fratton Park to managing England European champions - ex-Portsmouth and Coventry coach on brink of international glory

Former Pompey coach Ian Foster is one step away from managing England European champions.

Thursday, 30th June 2022, 11:30 am

His impressive England under-19 side have reached the final of the 2022 Euro Championships.

They will face Israel on Saturday (7pm) as overwhelming favourites having so far dominated the Slovakia-based tournament.

The Young Lions have won all four of their previous matches in this year’s competition, conceding just once.

That eye-catching run includes beating Israel 1-0 in the group stages last Saturday – now the sides face each other in the final.

England last won the tournament in 2017, when Aaron Ramsdale, Mason Mount and Ryan Sessegnon were among Keith Downing’s triumphant side.

And for Foster, victory would enhance a flourishing reputation as coach after joining the England set-up from Pompey in February 2017.

The former Coventry City coach spent 20 months at Fratton Park before lured to St George’s Park to become the under-17s’ national specialist coach.

The highly-regarded Ian Foster spent 20 months as Pompey's first-teach coach before joining England in February 2017. Picture: Joe Pepler

However, the decision didn’t sit well with Pompey boss Paul Cook, whose side were on the march towards the League Two title.

Despite Foster and the FA keen to see out the season on the south coast, Cook insisted his first-team coach left with immediate effect.

Nonetheless, from initially working with future Swansea and Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper in the under-17s, his career has blossomed.

England under-19s head coach Ian Foster shake hands with Italy's head coach Carmine Nunziata after England's Euro 2022 semi-final win. Picture: JOE KLAMAR/AFP

It’s a far cry from when Foster joined Pompey in May 2015 to assist new boss Cook, having been out of work for almost a year.

The 45-year-old had previously coached at Galway United, Dundalk and Coventry before his Fratton Park arrival.

Saturday’s opposition Israel provided an upset by beating France 2-1 to reach the Euro Championships final.

England qualified after coming from behind to net second-half goals from substitute Alex Scott and Liverpool’s Jarell Quansah in a 2-1 victory.

Foster’s side were indebted to Liam Delap’s match winner for overcoming Israel in their previous encounter in Group B.

Irrespective of that result, Israel qualified for the semi-finals in second place, having taken four points from a group which also contained Austria and Serbia.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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