Muted Celebrations, Eye On Future, Says England Coach Cooper
Kolkata, Oct 29 (IANS) Not getting carried away with their maiden FIFA U-17 World Cup triumph, England coach Steve Cooper on Sunday said they had muted celebrations at the team hotel on Saturday night with chicken on the dinner menu.
“We made some speeches, it was a very nice feeling…the families came and we just enjoyed the moment. Like I said, sometimes when you do good things you have to enjoy it,” Cooper told reporters here.
England rallied brilliantly to wipe out a two-goal deficit and steamroll Spain 5-2 in a thrilling final to annex their maiden title.
Phillip Foden — later adjudged the golden ball winner for his superb display — struck a brace (69th and 88th minutes), and Rhian Brewster (44th), Morgan Gibbs-White (58th) and Marc Guehi (84th) scored one apiece for England who continued their dream run of 2017, having earlier clinched the U-20 World Cup and the U-19 European championships.
For Spain, Sergio Gomez scored both goals (10th, 31st), before a capacity crowd of more than 66,000, who cheered on both teams, making it a cracker of an atmosphere at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan.
“There has been quite a bit on social media with David Beckham, and first team England players. There have been loads of messages on social media from back home. I am just really pleased with what we have done. Nobody’s going to get carried away. We have still got a long way to go with these boys but it’s important you enjoy it,” the coach said when quizzed about messages flowing in from England after the achievement.
Senior team manager Gareth Southgate wished the team last night, Cooper said.
“All national coaches (congratulated us). Gareth Southgate’s been on. A lot of senior management team’s been watching the game as well so everybody is really pleased.
“When you do something like this everybody has a smile. As I said yesterday in the press conference, its recognition for what we are doing with England teams,” Cooper said.
England will never forget India, Cooper added saying the amount of support they have received was amazing.
“We have loved India. it has been a fantastic experience…Mumbai, Kolkata, Goa. 24 hours in Guwahati…so every moment has been a life experience not just football experience. I am grateful to the people and the fans who turned up for the game…something that we will never forget,” he said.
At the dinner table, Cooper said he congratulated the players and stressed on the work the support staff have done throughout the meet.
“Just congratulations. Recognition for the staff as well. We got a huge staff here and they did their part. The boys are grateful to them also. They also got a cheer and got their medals too. We did not get carried away with our celebrations. We enjoyed each other’s company and had a good time,” Cooper said.
India coach Stephen Constantine congratulated the team after the win and wished them luck before their final against Spain.
“He has been constantly on the text. He sent his congratulatory message after the game and even wished us luck before the game. So we have been friends now. We are happy that an English coach is doing well here. We are grateful for his help in Mumbai as well.”
“The team had chicken on the menu and we had quite a time sharing the joy with each other,” team media officer Amy Hart said.
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