How Sheffield United will try to use England's Euros campaign to continue good work with academy
Derek Geary, Sheffield United’s U18s coach, says the success of Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire at this summer’s European Championships can inspire the next generation of Blades babes to follow in their footsteps in the future.
United’s academy produced more England players for this summer’s Euros than any other club, with Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Aaron Ramsdale joining Walker and Maguire in Gareth Southgate’s final 26-man squad which went all the way to Sunday’s final before cruelly losing on penalties to Italy.
Both Walker and Maguire have enjoyed the tag of the world’s most expensive defender, while Calvert-Lewin has established himself as one of the best English forwards in the Premier League and Ramsdale has been linked with a big-money move to Arsenal this summer.
And despite the shootout heartbreak, Geary believes that England’s success can serve as inspiration for the next generation of young players to pass through the Blades’ famed Shirecliffe academy.
“The training ground at Sheffield United is nice,” the former Blades defender told The42, “but it’s not like one of the state-of-the-art ones you get at places like Brighton and Leicester where they’ve spent millions on them.
“Instead, what we can use as a good selling point for the young players is that guys like Kyle Walker, Harry Maguire and Aaron Ramsdale – who are all part of the England squad – have been here early in their careers. That’s what we try and reference for the young lads and that’s what we have to aim to continue doing going forward.”