'A real prospect' - England under-20s boss on Joe Gelhardt, Leeds United's depth of talent and brilliant Whites fans at Fulham quip

Leeds United's fans have been given a taster of what to expect from Joe Gelhardt by England under-20s boss Andy Edwards who has saluted both the Whites Academy and fan base.

By Lee Sobot
Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:47 pm
Updated Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:48 pm

Nineteen-year-old striker Gelhardt is one of four Leeds players to have been named in the England under-20s squad for this month's friendlies against Italy and Czech Republic.

Gelhardt is joined by fellow Whites Academy stars Lewis Bate, Cody Drameh and Sam Greenwood whilst another Leeds youngster - Charlie Cresswell - is part of the England under-21s squad.

Gelhardt and Cresswell both featured for Leeds in last month's Carabao Cup clash at Fulham - a game which England under-20s boss Edwards attended - and the young Three Lions boss has hailed the depth of young talent within the Whites ranks.

Speaking about the inclusion of Gelhardt in his England under-20s squad, Edwards told ITV: "He's very talented. Obviously we think highly of him.

"He is an infectious character, a great lad to have around on and off the pitch.

"He's been on the pathway for some time there and performed well.

"Where they are going to get to, you are never too sure but Joe is a real prospect and one that we are looking forward to working with this week and next week and one that Leeds fans should be looking forward to seeing.

'A REAL PROSPECT': Nineteen-year-old Leeds United forward Joe Gelhardt, pictured smashing home his spot kick in the penalty shoot out victory at Fulham in the third round of the Carabao Cup. Picture by Bruce Rollinson.

"I watched him at Fulham a week or so ago and when he came on he got a really good reception so it seems he is highly thought of by the Leeds fans.

"We have got a lot of good players obviously in the squad and it's a camp we are looking forward to.

"There's two good games against Italy and the Czech Republic so it should be good."

Assessing whether it was wise to be careful with expectation levels with young players such as Gelhardt - and be cautious of building then up too soon - Edwards admitted: "I think so.

"They will develop in their own time.

"Charlie Cresswell played that day as well who is in the 21s squad.

"There's a real depth there it seems at Leeds.

"You don't want to put too much pressure on them but that was a great experience.

"It was a really good away following that day, I wondered what ground I had turned up at.

"There seemed to be more Leeds fans than Fulham fans that day.

"It was a great atmosphere and a really good experience for those players."

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Thank you Laura Collins