Taylor places the emphasis on youth

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The Independent Online
England want to prepare their budding international stars better for the senior stage by bringing them into the Under-21 squad at a younger age.

Peter Taylor, the new Under-21 coach, has emphasised the importance of this policy with the inclusion of 17-year-old Michael Branch (Everton) and Jody Morris (Chelsea) in the squad for today's European Championship qualifying match with Poland at Molineux.

Emile Heskey (Leicester City), Ritchie Humphreys (Sheffield Wednesday) and David Thompson (Liverpool) - all just 18 - are also in the squad.

"What we are trying to do is bring people into the Under-21 set-up at a younger age," Taylor said. "If we play older players who fall into the Under-21 category, they wouldn't get much experience or many games under their belt before they've got to make the almighty leap to the senior squad.

"By bringing people into the plans that much earlier, they could perhaps have three seasons with us and I'm sure that would help them develop and get into the senior set-up."

ENGLAND UNDER-21 (European Championship qualifying Group Two v Poland Under-21, Molineux, today, from): Davies (Luton), Marshall (Norwich), Newton (Charlton), Thatcher (Wimbledon), Scimeca (Aston Villa), Duberry (Chelsea), Carbon (Derby County), Hall (Coventry), Rufus (Charlton), Vaughan (Ipswich), Holland (Newcastle), Butt (Manchester United), Thompson (Liverpool), Briscoe (Sheffield Wednesday), Humphreys (Sheffield Wednesday), Dyer (Crystal Palace), Heskey (Leicester), Scowcroft (Ipswich), Branch (Everton), Morris (Chelsea).