England Under-20 boss Paul Simpson says it is 'too early' for golden generation tag

Paul Simpson
Simpson only took charge of the under-20s in February

Paul Simpson praised his England team after they won the Under-20 World Cup, but said it was "too early" to call them the next golden generation.

England beat Venezuela 1-0 in Sunday's final, to win the country's biggest international title since 1966.

It was England's first appearance in the final of a global tournament since their World Cup victory 51 years ago.

"We don't need anymore songs talking about 50 years of hurt," said Simpson, referencing the song Three Lions.

The song, with its signature lyric "30 years of hurt", was first released for England's Euro 96 campaign and fans have changed the lyrics for each subsequent major tournament.

Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin's first-half goal was enough for victory in South Korea, with Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman making a second-half penalty save to preserve the lead.

Asked if the players were the next golden generation, Simpson told BBC Sport: "It is too early for that, we could sit and make all sorts of bold statements.

"Let's enjoy what we have done, it is a wonderful achievement from them. We are the world champions at under-20 level which isn't easy.

"Let's see what comes next and hope they continue to develop. We hope we can lead them and guide them through these next stages to get the football they need and they can go on to be successful."

He added: "This will be an incredible experience for them to take forward whatever they go on to do. They will remember this for the rest of their lives and get confidence from this and hopefully the whole of the country can enjoy their achievements."

Kensington Palace
Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is the president of the Football Association
Sir Geoff Hurst
Sir Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick as England beat Germany in 1966 to win the World Cup
Sir Geoff Hurst

Former Manchester City and Derby winger Simpson paid tribute to Aidy Boothroyd, who had managed the side before his promotion to the under-21s in February.

"There have been years of preparation and planning and I can't believe I have been given the task to be head coach of this group to take through to the World Cup," added Simpson, 50, who also managed Preston, Stockport County, Shrewsbury Town and Northwich Victoria.

"To finish with a gold medal round my neck is a wonderful feeling."

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England manager Gareth Southgate

We are starting to see some real progress in how we work as national junior team. Ultimately the aim is those players come through to the seniors.

A big part of that now is for them to get opportunities with their clubs. If at under-20s we are world champions, there are enough players there to fulfil careers in the game without clubs looking elsewhere.

The team will come back full of confidence, the clubs will get players that been through a brilliant experience, proved themselves at a very high level in their age group.

There is always the next challenge, and they will come back into pre-season at an age where they have to try and force their way into the first team at their club.

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