UEFA tournament ambassador Jack Butland has called on Walsall supporters to come out in force in May to watch the next generation of Three Lions superstars on show at the UEFA European Under-17 Championships.
Burton Albion, Chesterfield, Loughborough University, Rotherham United, St. George's Park and Walsall have all been selected as host venues for the annual UEFA tournament.
Wayne Rooney, Eden Hazard, Paul Pogba and Mario Götze are just some of the famous names to have appeared in the competition previously, with the tournament acting as the perfect platform for young players to showcase their talents.
England, who won the European Under-17 title in 2010 and 2014 and finished runners- up to Spain in 2017, before beating the same opposition in the U17 World Cup Final in India this month, will be hoping to triumph on home soil.
And Butland, who won the competition with England alongside the likes of Chelsea’s Ross Barkley and Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah, insists the chance to watch a major tournament on home soil is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“To play in a major tournament, no matter what age, means it is a chance to show yourself. Lots of players from the winning side I was part of have gone and been successful,” said Butland.
“There have been some great players to come through, even players I know well like Gerard Deulofeu and Jese Rodriguez who I play with at Stoke now.
“I have not been lucky enough to play in a home tournament so for these young guys who are able to do that, it is a massive experience and they can really show what they are about.
“We managed to win the European Championships eight years ago and it has been a massive part of my career.
“It was an incredible experience and memory which I will never forget and something I look back on and am incredibly proud of.
“We had a great set of talent that year and we do this year too. For anyone to get to play in that tournament, it will be very special.
“Tickets are just £2 for kids and £4 for adults, so I want everyone in Walsall to come on down and cheer on the young players. We have a bright future in this country and these players are at the heart of that.
“It is a great chance to come and see the stars of tomorrow.”