Peter Taylor has been appointed as head coach to lead England’s U-20 team to the 2013 FIFA World Cup Finals in Turkey this summer. Taylor, a former England senior team caretaker manager, will take a two-month contract to lead the team into FIFA’s second most prominent men’s tournament.
He will be assisted by Chris Ramsey, Tottenham Hotspur’s Senior Professional Phase Coach, who also has experience of coaching young England teams, having previously led England U-20’s to the 1999 FIFA World Cup Finals in Nigeria.
The FA will also seek to supplement the U-20s and other development teams’ staff by introducing former players, who are setting out on their own coaching careers, into coaching roles with teams. Taylor’s first task will be to join Club England Managing Director, Adrian Bevington, at the official draw for the U-20 tournament on 25 March.
Taylor, aged 60, took charge of just one match for England, when he notably made David Beckham captain of the Three Lions for the first time. Prior to that he took charge of England’s U-21 squad between 1996-1999 before returning for a second spell between the years of 2004-2007.
England have qualified for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament for the tenth time, having previously been semi-finalists in 1981 and 1993. This year’s finals are taking place between 21 June-13 July, immediately following the UEFA European U-21 Championship Finals in Israel.
“I am very pleased and I am looking forward to it," Taylor said. "I remember watching the 1997 U-20 World Cup in Malaysia with Howard Wilkinson and I know what a big tournament it is. Michael Owen played in that one and it just shows how big the tournament is and the type of player it attracts – Lionel Messi has twice won player of the tournament before.
“I have been very fortunate to have had two spells with The FA and even though this latest one is short-term it is a tremendous feeling to have another opportunity to come back again. I just hope we can get the best players available to go out there and do well. The experience is the most important thing. Any level under the senior team is about readying players for that moment. This tournament will be good for young players.”
“Peter is a hugely respected and influential coach and he will bring great experience with him to the tournament," Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA’s Director of Football Development added. "Both Peter and Chris are coaches we know well and the opportunity is something they are both keen to embrace. We have a very busy tournament calendar with the U-21s in the European Finals, the U-20s in the World Cup and with our U-19 and U-17 groups all looking to qualify for their own major finals this year.
“Our philosophy is to try and embrace former players and where individuals are showing a strong desire to begin their coaching careers it is apt that we’re able to offer them an early opportunity. It is something the players will enjoy, as they benefit from his great experience at the highest level. We hope this will lead to more English coaches being qualified from the elite of the game and they will serve as shining lights for encouraging others on to the pathway.
“The U-20 World Cup is a serious tournament that is highly regarded throughout the world. It is fair to say we haven’t had the success we would like and this time around we would like to take a strong squad and make a real impact. Players such as Michael Owen have previously represented us at this level and so we shouldn’t underestimate its importance.”
Taylor made nearly 400 League appearances as a winger – for Southend United, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, Leyton Orient, Oldham Athletic and Exeter City – and he was capped four times for England, scoring twice.
In his two spells as England U-21s manager Taylor lost just three competitive matches, winning 26 and drawing 11. Most recently Taylor had been contracted to work in Holland until June with FC Twente, however the Dutch club have agreed to release him early to commit to his England duties.