England national under-21 football team
|Nickname(s)||The Young Lions|
|Association||The Football Association|
|Head coach||Stuart Pearce (2007–)|
|Most caps||James Milner (46)|
|Top scorer||Alan Shearer &
Francis Jeffers (13)
| England U-21 0–0 Wales U-21
(Molineux, Wolverhampton; 15 December 1976)
| England U-21 8–1 Finland U-21
(Boothferry Park, Hull; 12 October 1977)
England U-21 7–0 Azerbaijan U-21
(stadium:mk, Milton Keynes; 9 June 2009)
| Romania U-21 4–0 England U-21
(Ploieşti, Romania; 14 October 1980)
England U-21 0–4 Spain U-21
(St Andrews, Birmingham; 27 February 2001)
Germany U-21 4–0 England U-21
(Malmö New Stadium, Malmö; 29 June 2009)
|UEFA U-21 Championship|
|Appearances||10 (First in 1978)|
|Best result||Winners 1982, 1984|
This team is for English players aged under 21 at the start of the calendar year in which a two-year European Under-21 Football Championship campaign begins, so some players can remain with the squad until the age of 23. As long as they are eligible, players can play for England at any level, making it possible to play for the U21s, senior side, and again for the U21s, as Jack Wilshere, Jordan Henderson and Danny Welbeck have done recently. It is also possible to play for one country at youth level and another at senior level (providing the player is eligible).
The U-21 team came into existence, following the realignment of UEFA's youth competitions, in 1976. A goalless draw in a friendly against Wales at Wolves' Molineux Stadium was England U21s' first result.
England U21s do not have a permanent home. They play in stadia dotted all around England, in an attempt to encourage younger fans in all areas of the country to get behind England. Because of the smaller demand compared to the senior national team, smaller grounds can be used. The record attendance for an England U21 match was set on 24 March 2007, when England U21 played Italy U21 in front of a crowd of just under 60,000 at the brand new Wembley Stadium, also a world record attendance for a U21 game. The match was one of the required two "ramp up" events the stadium hosted in order to gain its safety certificate in time for its full-capacity opening for the 2007 FA Cup Final in May.
Coaching staff 
Head coach 
The original and most successful coach is Dave Sexton, who led the U21s from 1977 to 1990. In this period he combined his duties with managing the top-flight clubs Manchester United (1977–1981) and Coventry City (1981–1983). After Coventry he took a position within the FA as their first Technical Director, at Lilleshall. He handed over U21 responsibilities to England manager Graham Taylor's assistant Lawrie McMenemy for three years before resuming control from 1994 to 1996.
Peter Taylor took over in 1996 and, although never winning the tournament, his teams had an excellent record. He was controversially removed from the position in early 1999, however, and replaced initially by Peter Reid, who resigned after just one match in charge to dedicate more time to his other job as manager of Sunderland. Howard Wilkinson took over afterwards, yet could only produce four wins in ten competitive matches and quit after a year and a half in charge. David Platt took charge after his departure from Nottingham Forest. Platt was U21 boss from 2001 to 2004, but had little success before Taylor's return. Taylor left in January 2007, as the senior national manager Steve McClaren wanted the U21s to have a full-time manager. Taylor, at the time, was combining his duties with his role as Crystal Palace boss.
On 1 February 2007, Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce was appointed as head coach on a part-time basis until after the European Championships in the summer of 2007. Nigel Pearson, Newcastle United's assistant manager, agreed to become Pearce's assistant. Their first match in charge was a 2–2 draw against Spain on 6 February 2007 at Derby County's Pride Park Stadium. For the match against Italy Nigel Pearson took charge as Stuart Pearce had club commitments. Steve Wigley assisted Pearson.
Pearce was dismissed as Manchester City manager on 14 May 2007, before the 2007 European Championships, but on 19 July 2007 he was named full-time U21s coach. His contract was extended in the summer of 2009.
Other staff 
|Assistant Coach||Steve Wigley|
|Goalkeeping Coach||Martin Thomas|
|Doctor||Dr. Richard Higgins|
|Exercise Scientist||Craig Boyd|
|Performance Analyst||Keith Mincher|
|Video Analyst||Mike Baker|
|Kit Manager||Neil Jones|
Competition History 
|1990||Failed to qualify|
|2004||Failed to qualify|
As a European U21 team, England compete for the European Championship, with the finals every odd-numbered year, formerly even-numbered years. There is no Under-21 World Cup, although there is an Under-20 World Cup. For the first six (1978–1988) European Under-21 Football Championships, England did well, getting knocked out in the semi-finals on four occasions and winning the competition in 1982 and 1984. Then, as one might expect with a rapid turnover of players, followed a lean period.
After losing to France in the 1988 semi final, England then failed to qualify for the last eight for five whole campaigns. In the qualifying stages for the 1998 tournament, England won their group, but fate was not on their side. Because there were nine groups, and only eight places, the two group-winning nations with worst records had to play-off to eliminate one of them. England lost the away leg of this extra qualifying round and were eliminated on away goals to Greece. In effect, England finished ninth in the competition despite losing only one of their ten matches.
England qualified for the 2000 finals comfortably. Under the 1996-appointed Peter Taylor England won every match without conceding a goal. But with 3 matches to play, Taylor was replaced in a controversial manner by Howard Wilkinson, who won the next two matches. The three goals conceded in the 3–1 defeat to group runners-up Poland were the only blemish on the team's qualifying record. England got knocked out in the group stage of the European Championship finals in 2000 under Wilkinson.
After enlisting former international star David Platt as manager, England qualified for the 2002 tournament in Switzerland. Again England did poorly in the group stage. Platt's England failed to qualify for the 2004 tournament and he was replaced by the returning Peter Taylor. Taylor's England qualified from the group but lost to a strong France team in a two-legged playoff and failed to qualify for the 2006 tournament.
The next campaign started shortly after the 2006 finals – the qualification stage of the 2007 competition. UEFA decided to shift the tournament forward to avoid a clash with senior tournaments taking place in even-numbered years. The qualification stage was heavily reduced, being completed in a year's less time. In a 3-team qualification group, England qualified over Switzerland and Moldova, and then won a two-legged play-off with Germany to qualify for the finals to be held in the Netherlands. At the tournament, England progressed through to the semi-finals where they led for the majority of the match against the hosts. However, after a late equaliser and a marathon penalty shootout, England were eliminated.
England finished second in their qualifying group for the 2011 championships in Denmark. They subsequently defeated Romania in the play-offs to qualify for the finals tournament, where they were knocked out in the group stage after a 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic.
Note: The year of the tournament represents the year in which it ends.
Results and fixtures 2011–2013 
2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship 
Group stage 
|1 September 2011||England||6 – 0||Azerbaijan||Vicarage Road, Watford, England|
|19:30 UTC+01:00||Dawson 5' 89'
Lansbury 21' 73'
|Report||Referee: Domagoj Vučkov (Croatia)
|6 October 2011||Iceland||0 – 3||England||Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík, Iceland|
|18:45 UTC±00:00||Report||Oxlade-Chamberlain 12' 15' 49'||Referee: Clément Turpin (France)
|10 October 2011||Norway||1 – 2||England||Marienlyst Stadion, Drammen, Norway|
|19:00 UTC+02:00||Berisha 24'||Report||Dawson 3'
|Referee: Halis Özkahya (Turkey)
|10 November 2011||England||5 – 0||Iceland||Colchester Community Stadium, Colchester, England|
|19:30 UTC±00:00||Sordell 40'
Gardner 90' 90+2'
Referee: Pavle Radovanović (Montenegro)
|14 November 2011||Belgium||2 – 1||England||Stade Charles Tondreau, Mons, Belgium|
|20:45 UTC+01:00||Naessens 72'
El Kaddouri 90+1'
|Report||Kelly 14'||Referee: Harald Lechner (Austria)
|29 February 2012||England||4 – 0||Belgium||Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, England|
|18:00 UTC±00:00||Lansbury 9', 53'
Oxlade-Chamberlain 90+4' (pen.)
|Report||Referee: Liran Liany (Israel)
|6 September 2012||Azerbaijan||0 – 2||England||Dalga Arena, Baku, Azerbaijan|
|20:00 UTC+05:00||Report||Caulker 28'
|Referee: Antonis Giachos (Greece)
|10 September 2012||England||1 – 0||Norway||Proact Stadium, Chesterfield, England|
|19:00 UTC+01:00||Wickham 43'||Report||Referee: Slavko Vinčić (Slovenia)
|12 October 2012||England||1 – 0||Serbia||Carrow Road, Norwich, England|
|18:00 UTC+01:00||Dawson 65' (pen.)||Report||Referee: Deniz Aytekin (Germany)
|16 October 2012||Serbia||0 – 1||England||Stadion Mladost, Kruševac, Serbia|
|18:00 UTC+02:00||Report||Wickham 90+4'||Referee: Hüseyin Göçek (Turkey)
Final tournament 
Group stage 
|5 June 2013||England||v||Italy||Israel|
|8 June 2013||England||v||Norway||Israel|
|11 June 2013||Israel||v||England||Israel|
Friendly matches 
|5 September 2011||England||4 – 1||Israel||Oakwell, Barnsley, England|
|19:00 UTC+01:00||Waghorn 58'
Delfouneso 82' (pen.)
Lansbury 90' (+1')
|Report||Kalibat 25'||Referee: Tom Harald Hagen (Norway)
|13 November 2012||England||2 – 0||Northern Ireland||Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, England|
|19:30 UTC±00:00||Wickham 45'
Afobe 75' (pen.)
|Report||Referee: John Beaton (Scotland)
|5 February 2013||England||4 – 0||Sweden||Bescot Stadium, Walsall, England|
|19:30 UTC±00:00||Ince 9', 41'
|21 March 2013||England||3 – 0||Romania||Adams Park, High Wycombe, England|
|19:00 UTC±00:00||Zaha 34'
|25 March 2013||England||4 – 0||Austria||Falmer Stadium, Brighton and Hove, England|
|19:45 UTC±00:00||Shelvey 40'
McEachran 49' (pen.)
Leading appearances 
|1||James Milner||Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa||46|
|=2||Tom Huddlestone||Derby County, Tottenham Hotspur||33|
|=2||Fabrice Muamba||Birmingham City, Bolton Wanderers||33|
|4||Michael Mancienne||Chelsea, Hamburg||30|
|=5||Scott Carson||Leeds United, Liverpool||29|
|=5||Steven Taylor||Newcastle United||29|
|=7||Gareth Barry||Aston Villa||27|
|=7||Danny Rose||Tottenham Hotspur, Peterborough United, Bristol City, Sunderland||27|
|10||David Prutton||Nottingham Forest, Southampton||25|
Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s. Those players in bold are still eligible to play for the team at the moment.
Leading goalscorers 
|=1||Francis Jeffers||Everton, Arsenal||13|
|=3||Frank Lampard||West Ham United||9|
|=3||Darren Bent||Ipswich Town, Charlton Athletic||9|
|=3||James Milner||Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa||9|
|=6||Mark Hateley||Coventry City, Portsmouth||8|
|=8||Mark Robins||Manchester United||7|
|=8||Shola Ameobi||Newcastle United||7|
|=8||Jermain Defoe||West Ham United||7|
Note: Club(s) represents the permanent clubs during the player's time in the Under-21s. Those players in bold are still eligible to play for the team at the moment.
Current squad 
Players born on or after 1 January 1990 are eligible until the end of the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. The following players were named in the squad for the tournament finals in Israel in June 2013.
|Jack Butland||10 March 1993||Birmingham City (on loan from Stoke City)||9 (0)|
|Jason Steele||18 August 1990||Middlesbrough||6 (0)|
|Declan Rudd||16 January 1991||Preston North End (on loan from Norwich City)||1 (0)|
|Danny Rose||2 July 1990||Sunderland (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)||27 (3)|
|Craig Dawson||6 May 1990||West Bromwich Albion||13 (5)|
|Adam Smith||29 April 1991||Millwall (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)||10 (0)|
|Steven Caulker||29 December 1991||Tottenham Hotspur||8 (2)|
|Nathaniel Clyne||5 April 1991||Southampton||6 (0)|
|Tom Lees||18 November 1990||Leeds United||5 (0)|
|Andre Wisdom||9 May 1993||Liverpool||5 (0)|
|Luke Shaw||12 July 1995||Southampton||0 (0)|
|Jordan Henderson||17 June 1990||Liverpool||24 (4)|
|Henri Lansbury||12 October 1990||Nottingham Forest||16 (5)|
|Josh McEachran||1 March 1993||Middlesbrough (on loan from Chelsea)||11 (1)|
|Jason Lowe||2 September 1991||Blackburn Rovers||9 (0)|
|Jonjo Shelvey||27 February 1992||Liverpool||9 (3)|
|Tom Ince||30 January 1992||Blackpool||6 (2)|
|Nathaniel Chalobah||12 December 1994||Watford (on loan from Chelsea)||4 (0)|
|Andros Townsend||16 July 1991||Queens Park Rangers (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)||3 (0)|
|Nathan Delfouneso||2 February 1991||Blackpool (on loan from Aston Villa)||16 (4)|
|Connor Wickham||31 March 1993||Sunderland||13 (5)|
|Marvin Sordell||17 February 1991||Bolton Wanderers||12 (3)|
|Wilfried Zaha||11 October 1992||Crystal Palace (on loan from Manchester United)||7 (1)|
Recent call-ups 
The following players have also been called up to the England under-21 squad and remain eligible:
|Name||DOB||Club||Caps (goals)||Most recent call-up|
|Ben Amos||10 April 1990||Manchester United||3 (0)||v Romania, 21 March 2013|
|Sam Johnstone||25 March 1993||Manchester United||0 (0)||v Northern Ireland, 13 November 2012|
|Alex Smithies||5 March 1990||Huddersfield Town||0 (0)||v Denmark, 24 March 2011|
|Jack Robinson||1 September 1993||Wolverhampton Wanderers (on loan from Liverpool)||4 (1)||v Austria, 25 March 2013|
|Ryan Bennett||6 March 1990||Norwich City||2 (0)||v Austria, 25 March 2013|
|Michael Keane||11 January 1993||Leicester City (on loan from Manchester United)||1 (0)||v Austria, 25 March 2013|
|Phil Jones||21 February 1992||Manchester United||9 (0)||v Sweden, 5 February 2013|
|Liam Moore||31 January 1993||Leicester City||1 (0)||v Northern Ireland, 13 November 2012|
|Harry Maguire||5 March 1993||Sheffield United||1 (0)||v Northern Ireland, 13 November 2012|
|Martin Kelly||27 April 1990||Liverpool||8 (3)||v Norway, 10 September 2012|
|Joe Bennett||28 March 1990||Aston Villa||3 (0)||v Belgium, 29 February 2012|
|Nathan Baker||23 April 1991||Aston Villa||3 (0)||v Iceland, 10 November 2011|
|Jon Flanagan||1 January 1993||Liverpool||3 (0)||v Iceland, 10 November 2011|
|Matthew Briggs||9 March 1991||Watford (on loan from Fulham)||2 (0)||v Iceland, 10 November 2011|
|Lewis Dunk||21 November 1991||Brighton & Hove Albion||0 (0)||v Iceland, 10 November 2011|
|Kyle Walker||28 May 1990||Tottenham Hotspur||7 (0)||v Iceland, 6 October 2011|
|Joe Mattock||15 May 1990||Sheffield Wednesday||4 (0)||v Iceland, 6 October 2011|
|Kieran Trippier||19 September 1990||Burnley||2 (0)||2011 European Championship provisional squad, 11–25 June 2011|
|Jordan Spence||24 May 1990||West Ham United||1 (0)||v Denmark, 24 March 2011|
|Callum McManaman||25 April 1991||Wigan Athletic||0 (0)||2013 European Championship, 5–18 June 2013|
|Raheem Sterling||8 December 1994||Liverpool||4 (0)||v Austria, 25 March 2013|
|Tom Carroll||28 May 1992||Tottenham Hotspur||1 (0)||v Austria, 25 March 2013|
|Will Hughes||7 April 1995||Derby County||2 (0)||v Sweden, 5 February 2013|
|Nick Powell||23 March 1994||Manchester United||1 (0)||v Northern Ireland, 13 November 2012|
|Jack Rodwell||11 March 1991||Manchester City||21 (2)||v Serbia, 16 October 2012|
|Ben Marshall||29 March 1991||Leicester City||2 (0)||v Norway, 10 September 2012|
|Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain||15 August 1993||Arsenal||8 (4)||v Belgium, 29 February 2012|
|Gary Gardner||29 June 1992||Aston Villa||5 (2)||v Belgium, 29 February 2012|
|Cameron Stewart||8 April 1991||Blackburn Rovers (on loan from Hull City)||0 (0)||v Belgium, 29 February 2012|
|Ross Barkley||5 December 1993||Everton||4 (0)||v Iceland, 10 November 2011|
|Jacob Butterfield||10 June 1990||Norwich City||0 (0)||v Iceland, 10 November 2011|
|Dan Gosling||2 February 1990||Newcastle United||3 (0)||v Azerbaijan, 1 September 2011|
|Jack Wilshere||1 January 1992||Arsenal||7 (0)||2011 European Championship provisional squad, 11–25 June 2011|
|Jordon Mutch||2 December 1991||Cardiff City||1 (0)||v Denmark, 24 March 2011|
|Benik Afobe||12 February 1993||Arsenal||2 (1)||v Sweden, 5 February 2013|
|Martyn Waghorn||23 January 1990||Leicester City||5 (2)||v Northern Ireland, 13 November 2012|
|Sammy Ameobi||1 May 1992||Middlesbrough (on loan from Newcastle United)||2 (0)||v Northern Ireland, 13 November 2012|
|Harry Kane||28 July 1993||Leicester City (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)||0 (0)||v Norway, 10 September 2012|
|Will Keane||11 January 1993||Manchester United||3 (0)||v Belgium, 29 February 2012|
|Alex Nimely||11 May 1991||Manchester City||0 (0)||v Iceland, 10 November 2011|
|Danny Welbeck||26 November 1990||Manchester United||14 (5)||v Iceland, 6 October 2011|
Note: Names in italics denote players who have been capped for the Senior team.
Past squads 
- 2000 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship squad
- 2002 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship squad
- 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship squad
- 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship squad
- 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship squad
- BBC News – Wembley opener attracts thousands
- BBC News – Wembley game 'sold out' in hours
- The Guardian – Early set-back on Wembley's big day
- "Pearce named England U21 manager". BBC Sport. 19 July 2007. Retrieved 17 July 2007.
- "Here's a full rundown of Stuart Pearce's Under-21s squad for Euro 2013" (online). thefa.com. 14 May 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- Official FA England Under-21 website Contains listings of current England U-21 players.
- Uefa Under-21 website Contains full results archive
- The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation Contains full record of U-21 Championship hosts and additional statistics, such as the Group Winners table for the 1998 qualifiers.