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Southgate rewarded by England Under-21

England Under-21 coach Gareth Southgate has signed a 12-month extension for his wide-ranging role at the Football Association, running until summer 2017.

Gareth Southgate watches England qualify against Croatia in the play-offs
Gareth Southgate watches England qualify against Croatia in the play-offs ©Getty Images

England Under-21 coach Gareth Southgate has signed a 12-month contract extension running until summer 2017.

The former England defender was appointed in August 2013 and has led the team unbeaten to qualification for the UEFA European U21 Championship final tournament in the Czech Republic this June. Southgate's new deal will span the length of the competition's 2017 edition.

Also head of national teams at the Football Association (FA)'s training base at St George's Park, Southgate helped conduct the body's youth development review and has been part of creating an 'England DNA' philosophy. "I am enjoying my work at the FA and, with St George's Park coming to life with innovation and development across our football disciplines, I believe we now have some solid foundations in place," he said.

England are in their fifth straight finals
England are in their fifth straight finals©Getty Images

FA technical director Dan Ashworth added: "Gareth is an outstanding individual to work alongside and I am happy to see him commit further to his work with the U21s and to football development at the FA. We are looking forward to the European Championship this summer, and testing our young players against Europe's elite."

England have a friendly against finals hosts, the Czech Republic in Prague on 27 March and three days later play Germany at Southgate's former club Middlesbrough FC. They open their finals campaign on 18 June against Portugal in Uherske Hradiste; Sweden and Italy are also in Group B.