Before he left the Football Association in January, former technical director Dan Ashworth said no association had a better set of results across all its male and female teams over the past two years.
The big prizes for the senior teams eluded England, but reaching the last four of the World Cup and women's European Championship were backed up by World Cup wins for the Under-17s and Under-20s in 2017.
That has given Ashworth, now at Brighton, the "belief" that England can end their major trophy drought at senior level.
And the fact that two members of the Under-17 triumph - Jadon Sancho and Callum Hudson-Odoi - played their part in England's 5-0 win over the Czech Republic on Friday, shows the system is working.
But what gains need to be made to make that final step and what does a future England player look like?