12th February 2020, 09:06 | england_lions
England Community Lions Youth, headed by Allan Coleman, have announced an amended train-on squad for their autumn entry to the U19 European Championship which will be held in Italy between September 3-13.
Originally 32 players were drafted in and after a tough round of trials, this has been reduced to 24 with some more hard decisions ahead to reduce numbers further and confirm a 21-man competition squad.
"Two years ago we were beaten in the Final of the Euros and eight of the squad signed professionally. This year it's a different concept." Coleman said, "we go to Italy with a new team, a young side, and we are offering opportunity. From the BARLA tri-series last year we brought four more in from Lancashire, two more from Yorkshire and two more from Cumbria. They all did well for their community clubs too and earned the right to come into contention.
"I feel what we are doing could be a massive part of making the amateur game great again. I feel that people are now looking towards the Lions as a chance, if they don't get into the pro game, or get released from an academy, there is still an option for them to work hard and come and represent their country and their community clubs.
"The community clubs have done a fantastic job with this group of talented players. Each session it gets more difficult to decide and everyone who made our original squad fully deserved to be there. As a coaching staff we have some difficult decisions ahead."
Twelve clubs are represented in all with Halifax amateurs Siddal providing four names to the squad while there are also sizeable contingents from Warrington side Latchford Albion and well respected Cumbrians Dalton and Kells (three each).
The full squad is listed below with the community clubs in brackets.