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Aidy Boothroyd urges England Under-21s to grasp moment in the spotlight

• England travel to Poland after group stage exits in last three tournaments
• Under-20s’ World Cup win adds to focus on side for opener with Sweden

Aidy Boothroyd has urged his England players to forget the failures of previous years as they prepare to kick off the Under?21 European Championship against the holders, Sweden, on Friday.

With a new format that sees 12 nations placed into three groups in a scramble to reach the semi-finals in Poland, the presence of some of the continent’s finest emerging players has added extra lustre to an already prestigious competition. England, who have picked up one victory from nine group-stage matches at the past three tournaments – in Denmark, Israel and the Czech Republic – are among the early favourites despite Boothroyd’s squad possessing only a smattering of Premier League regulars in the absence of Marcus Rashford and Dele Alli.

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