Ex-Stag Boothroyd takes over England U21 job

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Former Mansfield Town defender Aidy Boothroyd has taken over the England U21 manager’s job as Gareth Southgate moves up to the senior post vacated by Sam Allardyce.

Boothroyd, 45, is now looking forward to helping England’s youngsters qualify for next summer’s Euro U21 Finals.

The Three Lions head to Kazakhstan this week for their penultimate qualifier in Aktobe, before facing Bosnia & Herzegovina in Walsall next Tuesday to conclude their group fixtures.

With just two points required from the two games, a victory on Thursday would be enough to set up a trip to Poland next July.

And having met up with the group on Sunday night, following the handover from Southgate, the former Watford and Colchester United boss has enjoyed his time so far.

“It’s been excellent really, I’m quite lucky that the squad was picked and everything was organised beforehand,” he told FATV, following Tuesday’s training session at St. George’s Park.

“They’re a good group of players and I’m really only here to stabilise everything and help the team over the line, it’s as simple as that.”

The transition has been made easier for Boothroyd and many of the squad, with a lot of them having already worked under him for the U19s or U20s over the last two seasons.

“It makes it easier when you know the players’ characters and they know mine, so it’s been like a bit of a reunion for one or two of us,” he laughed.

“They’re all a little bit bigger now, a little bit stronger and a little bit better football-wise so they’re all developing really well.

“It’s that last little step now to make sure we get the points we need in Kazakhstan.”

Bradford-born full back Boothroyd started out as an apprentice at Huddersfield Town before turning professional and finally signing for Bristol Rovers for £30,000 in June 1990.

He moved on to Hearts in 1992 before joining the Stags on a free transfer in December 1993.

Over two seasons, he played 102 matches for the Stags, scoring three goals in the process.

He left the club in 1996 to play for Peterborough United but suffered a career-ending injury after playing 26 games, forced to retire in 1998.

Management followed with Watford (taking them into the Premier League), Coventry, Colchester and Northampton before joining the England set-up.