Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Martinez: We will develop players

Ross Barkley is one of many Young Lions currently in Brazil for the World Cup finals

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has assured England boss Roy Hodgson that the Merseyside club will do all they can to develop their young English players.

Toffees midfielder Ross Barkley is one of many Young Lions currently in Brazil for the World Cup finals with the national team - despite their early exit from the competition - and defender John Stones, also 20, was named first on the stand-by list if needed.

Successive 2-1 losses to Italy on June 14 and Uruguay last week made sure England are unable to qualify from Group D ahead of Tuesday's final match where they take on Costa Rica.

But the duo have been backed to be called up when England kick off their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign in September.

Martinez knows how important it is as a Premier League club to produce young homegrown players, and he told evertonfc.com: "From our point of view, we always pride ourselves on helping the England camp as much as we can in producing good youngsters and making as many available as possible. That will always be the case.

"It's always good to see players from Everton representing the national team and in the case of the youngsters, we're very excited about the ones we have.

"We're going to protect and develop John, Ross and the others underneath to fulfil their potential because they're going to have a terrific future for England and the English game in general."

The former Swansea boss admitted he was delighted that Barkley got his chance - alongside Toffees favourites Leighton Baines and Phil Jagielka - in Brazil and believes the experience can only be a positive one.

He added: "I don't view things for England in the short-term. I look at different aspects and signs and I was really impressed with many of them.

"Looking to the future, this World Cup is going to really help the players to be successful in the European Championship or next World Cup.

"Of course, you want to win games and progress but this tournament was to look at other things for the future.

"I thought the attitude in both games from the England team was very positive, playing eye-to-eye with really experienced sides and the benefits of that will be there."

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