England team has bright future - FA development boss Brooking
England fans should be optimistic about the future of the national team, says the Football Association's football development chief Sir Trevor Brooking.
England's Under-17 side beat the Netherlands on penalties on Wednesday to win the Uefa European Championship, emulating their predecessors from 2010.
"Between 16 and 21 it is as good as we have had," said former England international Brooking, 65.
“I am really optimistic that two or three of them will break through into the senior ranks”
"In about four to six years we will have a really good seniors group."
Brooking was in Malta to see Chelsea's Dominic Solanke fire England ahead against the Dutch from close range, but Jari Schuurman's volley on the stroke of half-time meant penalties were required.
England were faultless in the shootout, meaning Dutch failures from Dani van der Moot and Calvin Verdonk gave John Peacock's side the trophy.
"This side has progressed as the season has gone on," said Brooking, the FA's director of football development.
"At this age, they are the most professional group I have seen. They prepare correctly. They listen to the game plan and adhere to it.
"I am really optimistic that two or three of them will break through into the senior ranks."
The key is for the players involved to gain more experience, something history shows is not easy.
FA chairman Greg Dyke is so concerned about the situation he instigated a wide-ranging consultation process that resulted in an 82-page document being released earlier this month with the specific aim of addressing the lack of opportunities for young players.
One of the proposals was the B team league that has attracted so much criticism.
Of England's 2010 European Under-17 champions, Ross Barkley and Jack Butland have gone on to win senior caps, Saido Berahino has started to make an impact at West Bromwich Albion, while Andre Wisdom has been an influential figure in Derby's surge to the Championship play-off final during his season-long loan from Liverpool.
This is a better ratio than the Spain side England defeated four years ago.
Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu was part of that team, but none of the players have gone on to play at senior international level - although breaking into the World and European champions' team might prove more challenging as they are a better side than England.
However, other English players appear to be drifting, with defender Bruno Pilatos lost to the professional game since leaving Middlesbrough in January 2013.
Brooking is anxious to see the latest batch of youngsters reach their potential.
"Roy Hodgson has already shown the way by picking Ross Barkley, Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling for the World Cup," he said.
"The depth of talent is excellent, particularly in the attacking and creative areas - I am quite optimistic.
"What you cannot guarantee is whether they will get first-team football.
"Some might get it quite quickly - and some are certainly ready for it now. Those at the bigger clubs might go on loan."
Brooking picked out Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere and Liverpool's former Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, who both spent time on loan at Bolton, as players who have progressed after spending time away from their parent clubs.
He added young players "might go to other Premier League clubs or the Championship at worst".
But he admitted: "The key is getting the right club in the Championship."