Arsenal youngsters Omari Hutchinson and James Sweet are with the England u17s in preparation for the UEFA u17 Euro elite round qualifiers next month.

Omari Hutchinson (bottom-left) with the England u17s (Photo via
Omari Hutchinson (bottom-left) with the England u17s (Photo via

Arsenal u16s Omari Hutchinson and James Sweet are both with the England u17s this week, whilst the first team are on their winter break. England faced Ukraine on Thursday, and they’ll play Russia on Saturday before a repeat fixture against Ukraine two days later.

Hutchinson played 72 minutes of the opening fixture, a 0-0 draw. Sweet didn’t get a chance to come off the bench this time. He’s sure to get some game-time in the upcoming matches in the next few days.

The fixtures are all friendly matches, taking place in Marbella. The plan is to prepare the u17s for their Euro qualifiers by playing three matches in the same format against similar teams tactically and physically. England face Georgia, Romania and Belgium in March.

Given the players taking their GCSEs or playing first-team football, there were some extra spaces in the u17 team this time around. That’s certainly helped Hutchinson and Sweet to make the step up, but their performances are the main factor.

Hutchinson is well known for featuring in an F2 freestyle video on YouTube a few years ago. This year, he’s having a strong impact with the Arsenal u16s. He regularly gets on the scoresheet despite usually starting in midfield.

Meanwhile, Sweet impressed at the 2019 JSSL Professional Academy 7s with goals in the semis and the final as Arsenal won the event. Good luck to both of them with England this week.