Just shy of a week ago, Chelsea youngsters Nathaniel Chalobah and Todd Kane were enjoying celebrations in Munich with the first team squad as Champions of Europe.
Preston’s Deepdale Stadium may be a less glamorous place to spend their Friday evening, but both players found the back of the net for Noel Blake’s England Under-19 team as the Three Lions got their European Championship Elite Qualifying Round campaign underway.
Slovenia were comfortably brushed aside 5-0, with captain Chalobah opening the scoring with a deftly curled effort from the edge of the box. It was his first goal at this level and second in England colours after a header in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup last summer. Remarkably, it was also his 47th appearance at junior international level.
Full-back Kane entered the match in the second half and played in a more advanced role on the right hand side. He slammed home from Chalobah’s incisive pass to make it 4-0 in the closing stages, with the other goals coming in the form of a Will Keane brace and a strike from Tom Thorpe.
Blake’s team now head to Rochdale on Sunday, when they’ll host Montenegro, before returning to Deepdale for the final group match against Switzerland. Kane and Chalobah will hope to make a similar impact, as will the third blue in the squad, forward Patrick Bamford.