Before taking the flight home to London, England coach Brian Eastick took time to reflect on Egypt 2009 with FIFA.com. The England U-20 coach, who has helped lead England U-21s and England's U-19 to the finals of European competitions, was in philosophical mood when chatting to the tournament's official website.
FIFA.com: So Brian, how would you assess your time in Egypt?
Brian Eastick: I think it's been a great experience for everyone, the players and the staff alike. I'm just disappointed that we didn't win a match. From the players' point of view, when they go home and put things into perspective they'll look back and realise they've had the chance to play in a World Cup. In years to come when they look back on their careers this may well be the highlight; a story that they can tell their children. Without doubt, he experience I've gained will stand me in good stead for the future.
Has any individual stood out for you?
I think one player in particular to come out with some credit is Elliott Parish, who hasn't been involved in the international set-up before. He's come in and acquitted himself really well in the three games he's played. So I think there's a find there for us; we've got another goalkeeper who we can consider for the international squads in the future.
What do you think the future holds for the individuals in your squad?
It's very important for the lads to be playing regular football every week. I would think that the likes of Martin Kelly and Ben Mee would go on loan somewhere when they go back. We have to be realistic; when you look at the stats, not all of the lads are going to go on and have successful careers. For me, this tournament was not about the results, but the development of the players. There will be no losers coming home, they'll all be winners; they've had a fantastic experience. Obviously the results have been disappointing because as a coach you want to go and get as far as you can in the tournament. Unless the calendar is changed then England and the rest of the European teams will always struggle to get their better players here.
And what does the future hold for you?
I don't really know what my next challenge will be. I'll have to wait and see what the FA assign me when we get back. I'm 57 now but I feel there's another good challenge in me somewhere down the line, whether that's at international or club level. If you look at most coaches they don't come to their peak until their mid 50s so there is definitely a few more challenges left in me, but I really don't know what at the moment.
If I was offered a really good job in club football then I would seriously have to consider it and working abroad would be another great experience as well. I've been at the FA for four-and-a-half years and it has been a great education and I'd certainly recommend it to any coach. It's a fantastic learning curve and a great privilege.
Would you have done anything differently?
That's something we'll have to analyse when we get back, but I was extremely pleased with our preparations.
And finally, what were your impressions of Egypt?
The people have been magnificent wherever we've been and the facilities in Suez were absolutely outstanding. The passion for the tournament has been incredible - it seems as though everyone's talking about it here. That passion has manifested itself in the games Egypt have played. The opening match in Alexandria and the games in Cairo have attracted wonderful crowds and I hope Egypt and their fans enjoy the rest of the tournament.