Football: England offer hope: Solid Germans are held at Wembley

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England Under-15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

Germany Under-15. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0

THE announcement that 'no England player would be wearing the No 2 shirt' came as little surprise to those who have witnessed the seniors recently. It proved a false alarm. Against the solid Germans, England revealed a maturity at the back, which, if it had been duplicated up front, would have brought sole possession of the Smiths International Shield on Saturday. It was just a pity the only real attacking skill on show came from the Wiel Coerver display team at half-time, writes Henry Winter from Wembley.

The English Schools FA has enthusiastically adopted the Dutchman's revolutionary coaching methods, where the space-creating step-overs, drag-backs and turns associated with Cruyff, Rivelino and Beckenbauer are inculcated into schoolchildren until they become almost second nature.

An impact has been made. All those wearing white shirts looked comfortable on the ball and, admirably, Steve Avory's solid 4-4-2 unit built forcefully from the back - an amusing contrast to the much-vaunted

Germans, who often opted for the long ball.

A handful stood out. James Dungey, a rosy-cheeked Devonian, is developing his considerable goalkeeping gifts under Dario Gradi at Crewe, while the chase is on to sign David Hilton, a left-sided Barnsley boy with a healthy appetite for raiding down the wing. England's accomplished central defenders, John Curtis and Marlon Broomes, will also go far.

ENGLAND UNDER-15: Dungey (Plymouth Schools FA); Hilton (Barnsley SFA), Millett (Wigan SFA), Curtis (Nuneaton and District FA), Broomes (Erdington and Saltley SFA), Hodges (Newham SFA), Fotiadis (North Herts SFA), Cassidy (Liverpool SFA), Kyte (North Kent SFA), Clemence (Lea Valley SFA), Teather (Rotherham SFA). Substitutes: Bell (Ipswich and South Suffolk SFA) for Fotiadis, 78; Omoyinmi (Newham SFA) for Kyte, 71.

GERMANY: Enke; Zieger (both Carl Zeiss Jena); Koch (Kaiserslautern), Marsch (Augsberg), Bauer (Cologne), Wiblishauser (Memmingen), Kollmorgen (Hansa Rostock), Saur (VfB Stuttgart), Kallus (FV Lebach), Staar (Bayer Uerdingen), Troche (FSV Zwickau). Substitutes: Oswald (SC Geislingen) for Staar, 55; Birkle (Kaiserslautern) for Ziegner, 75; Frohlich (Dynamo Dresden) for Kollmorgen, h-t; Villa (Bayer Uerdingen) for Troche, h-t.

Referee: G Lee (Northamptonshire FA).