‘You have to live your life in the right way’ - Boothroyd’s words of advice for Norwich City trio
PUBLISHED: 10:11 03 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:11 03 September 2019
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England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd has reminded his squad of the responsibility they carry as role models for the next generation of young footballers.
Norwich City trio Todd Cantwell, Ben Godfrey and Max Aarons are part of Boothroyd's squad for the first time and the former Watford boss has held talks with his squad over the code of conduct he expects in his England set-up.
The Young Lions came under fire for some of the comments in the wake of their European Championships exit in the summer with James Maddison and Dean Henderson claiming England were better than France and Romania despite having lost to both teams in the summer.
"There was sort of talk about arrogance, and I think there's a fine line between arrogance and confidence," said Boothroyd, whose side head to Turkey on Friday for their first Euro qualifier before taking on Kosovo the following Monday at the KCOM Stadium in Hull. "We want our players to play the game in the right way but also behave in the right way.
"I think what happened after the Romania game, two young players, it was the folly of youth really, just embarrassed at going out and probably saying completely the wrong thing in that we were the best team in the tournament. Well, we're not, because we got knocked out by Romania."
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Boothroyd wants his players to be setting the right example both on and off the pitch.
"It is important. We bring our players in on good character and we expect them to be humble, because they are a role model for not only the kids you see walking around here but also millions of kids that shout their name and kick a ball into a wall pretending it's a net.
"It is just the folly of youth I think.
"I talked about it with the players (on Monday morning), and the importance of not just what they're trying to achieve and who they are but what they represent, and what representing England means.
"You've got to be more than just a good footballer, more than talented, you have to live your life in the right way - that's what we want.
"The new Under-21s group, when I look at that, it is very exciting. But they will make mistakes and get things wrong - different things hopefully - and it will improve them and make them better people and better players for when they get to the seniors."