Southgate - Toulon Is A Fantastic Experience
England U21 manager Gareth Southgate has said that the Toulon Tournament can be an invaluable experience for younger players as they learn different styles from around the world.
Having selected his squad for the Tournament, Southgate will be looking to lead England - four time winners - to success at the first time of asking for him, because we have not participated in this competition since 2005.
Our opening game comes against Qatar on May 22nd, before we then face fellow Group B opposition Brazil, South Korea and Colombia.
We certainly going into the games high on confidence, having won seven of our European Qualification games so far, and we will be looking to build on that when we face Wales to ensure we top the group.
However Toulon is different, because it gives us the chance to face non European based opposition and styles.
'It's invaluable playing teams from different continents. We play mainly European teams at this age group. We think we need to expose our players throughout the age groups to more South American, North American, African and Asian teams. It's an important thing for their development and we want tough challenges.'
Southgate goes on to say that there's no point in 'ducking' big opponents just because our chances of success might not be as high, because those are games that the coaches learn more from, as do the players themselves, you only truly develop through experience and challenge.
'We want to play the best teams and test ourselves against the best teams. Only then will we know exactly where we are so that was important for us this summer.'
With a squad involving overage players for Wales, Southgate has certainly got an eye on the future as he has called up Everton duo Ty Browning and Luke Garbutt for the first time, and joining them are also Brighton duo Solly March, Jake Forster-Caskey and Fulham's Cauley Woodrow and all five will be in line for their England U21 debuts.
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