Ryan Ledson reckons the experience of leading England Under-17s to European glory was “unbeatable”.
The 16-year-old midfielder and fellow Everton youngster Jonjoe Kenny, 17, played key roles throughout the UEFA Under-17 European Championship finals in Malta this month, with the Young Lions crowned victors on Wednesday evening.
Their achievement mirrors that of Ross Barkley and Luke Garbutt, who were part of the U17s national team that were crowned European champions in 2010.
Skipper Ledson said: “It still hasn’t sunk in yet and I hardly got any sleep as the messages were just flying through all night. It’s unbelievable – to captain your country is amazing, but to lead them to European Championship glory will never be beaten.”
After the final against the Netherlands had ended in a 1-1 draw, both Blues stepped up to net from the spot in a penalty shootout, Ledson with the opener and Kenny the decisive kick.
“To be honest, I thought I was going to be more nervous than I was,” reflected Ledson.
“I was quite calm and won the toss. I always wanted the first penalty to put the pressure right on them and even if I missed, it still would have been.
“Luckily though, we’ve been practising, and I’ve hit my best one of the week and put it right in the corner. It got the lads off to a great start.
“The rest of the lads were excellent and I was made up when my mate Jonjoe scored the winner. It has been a tough couple of months for him. He broke his collar bone back in January playing for England and it was fitting for him to hit the winner.”
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