Cape Town - England manager Gareth Southgate sent a video message congratulating England’s U-20 World Cup heroes, and then pleaded with their clubs to give them a chance.
Southgate also congratulated under-20s coach Paul Simpson after his side beat Venezuela 1-0 in the final of the tournament in South Korea on Sunday and said he hopes that some of the squad will now graduate to senior level.
But Southgate also insisted that the players should get a chance with their teams in the Premier League after proving themselves on the big stage.
“It’s brilliant for all the players and all of the staff that are there. It’s a great achievement for all of them and the bigger picture for everyone at the FA and St George’s Park. Hopefully everyone at home takes a lot of pride in it,” said Southgate.
“We’ve only had St George’s [National Football Centre] for five years or so and we are starting to see some real progress in the junior teams and ultimately the aim is to get them through to the seniors.
“A big part of that now is to get opportunities at their clubs. i think they’ve shown that at under-20s we are world champions then there’s enough players there to fulfill careers in the game without their clubs looking elsewhere.
“It’s brilliant for them. They are now eligible for the under-21s. Can they now force their way into their club’s teams? They should have full of confidence because it’s been a brilliant experience and proved themselves at their age group.”
Meanwhile, Sir Geoff Hurst, whose hat-trick helped England beat West Germany in 1966 as England won the World Cup at Wembley, also congratulated the squad.
"Well done lads. Fantastic achievement by England u20s. So pleased for them all," he wrote on Twitter.
A host of other football players and personalities including Wayne Rooney also joined in the congratulations.
Congratulations to @England U20's who are World Cup winners. What an achievement lads ????????????— Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) June 11, 2017