Boothroyd to step down as U21s boss following Euros disappointment
Written by Simon Austin — April 16, 2021
AIDY BOOTHROYD is to step down as England Under-21 boss this summer following the disappointment of their recent early exit from the Euros.
England crashed out of the tournament in the group stages despite a 2-1 win against Croatia in their final game.
Boothroyd joined the Football Association in February 2014, initially taking charge of the U19s and U20s, before replacing Gareth Southgate as U21s manager in September 2016.
He led the Young Lions to the 2017 U21 Euro semi-finals and they won the Toulon Tournament a year later, but then failed to get out of the group stages at either the 2019 or 2021 Euros.
Boothroyd was also fiercely criticised by fans and media after describing his job as “utterly impossible” during the recent tournament in Slovenia. His contract was due to expire this summer.
The FA will now begin the process to appoint Boothroyd's successor, while the 50-year-old has said he is keen for a return to club management.
“It's been the greatest privilege to represent the FA and lead England teams into high-profile tournaments,” Boothroyd said.
“While we didn’t finish in the way we wanted, I'm very proud to have been able to work so closely with players who I know will go on to have remarkable international careers and to have experienced some very special moments with them over the years.
"I'd like to thank my staff and all of the incredible support team that have done so much to help us remain competitive against other elite nations. In every single get-together they embraced our unique challenge of rightly prioritising the needs of the senior team while ensuring we gave our all to try and get a positive performance and result.”
Southgate added: "I’d like to thank Aidy for his wholehearted support and dedication to developing English players and coaches across the last seven years.
"His pride in working with all of our development teams has shone through and his support of the senior team has been greatly appreciated. I wish him every success on the next step of his career.”
FA Technical Director John McDermott said: “I fully respect and understand Aidy’s decision to want to return to club football and I'm sure he will continue to be a regular visitor to St George’s Park.”
Qualification for the 2023 U21 Euros in Georgia and Romania begins in September.