Our central midfielder played the full game as the Young Lions defeated the Netherlands in Wednesday evening’s final, winning 4-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at the Ta’ Qali National Stadium in Malta.
It brought an intense fortnight of international competition to a successful end – and Josh admitted he’s delighted to have played his part.
“It’s the best feeling and it’s been a great experience with the England team,” he said. “I’m just happy to have done it. I’m lost for words.
“When I woke up this morning, saw all my messages and then looked over to my medal, I thought ‘I can’t believe we’ve done this.’
“Hopefully in the future I can look back on this with pride and think what a great experience it was to win the European Championship with England U17s.”
Josh started England’s opening game of the group stage, a 3-0 win over hosts Malta on May 9, before being named on the bench for a 4-1 victory against Turkey three days later.
He then played the full game as the Young Lions lost 2-0 to the Netherlands in their final group match on May 15 before being called on as a first half substitute when Adam Armstrong picked up an injury in Sunday’s semi-final meeting with Portugal.
“Obviously I was disappointed for Adam who got injured but as soon as the coach called on me I had to adapt quickly to the game,” Josh said.
After a 2-0 win in that match, Wednesday’s final brought a second meeting with the Netherlands – with Josh back in the starting XI as England secured their status as European Champions.
“The final was tough,” reflected Josh, who scored three goals in 17 Barclays Under-18 Premier League appearances for us in 2013-14, in addition to netting once in two FA Youth Cup games and playing three times for our Under-21s.
“We played Holland earlier in the group stage and they beat us, so the team was focussed.
“The final was a huge opportunity for me and I think I took it. Obviously I’m gutted for Adam and we knew we had to do it for him as well as ourselves.
“Winning on penalties was a good experience and we’re absolutely buzzing to have won.”