Southgate honoured by EFL gesture
England manager Gareth Southgate was honoured to receive special recognition from the EFL ahead of the Three Lions’ participation in the UEFA Nations League.
The England boss was presented 20 unique frames by former EFL chief executive Shaun Harvey at their St. George’s Park headquarters, detailing the respective journeys of the 20 players to have made their debuts at an EFL club or in an EFL competition before featuring for England at the 2018 World Cup.
The frames highlight the important role that the EFL has played and continues to play in the development of young English players, something Southgate believes cannot be underestimated.
“It’s nice to receive this recognition, and this is a very nice gesture from the EFL,” he said. “We’ve had a really exciting couple of years with the England team, and the nicest thing has been the way it’s resonated with the public.
“If you look at some of the players from last summer [at the World Cup], just the back players in fact, you have Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire, Ashley Young, Jordan Pickford – they all came through the EFL and that was a significant part of their learning and becoming established.
“There’s so much at stake for Clubs and players in the EFL. You have budgets which are comparable to many of the big leagues across Europe; investment is high and so is the reward for success and pain of failure.
“When you’re looking at what helps young players develop, having consequences of winning and losing is one of the big parts of playing under pressure.”