Joy for Kemp after England's Toulon triumph



  • Dan Kemp described lifting silverware with England U20s as an ‘amazing experience’
  • The winger triumphed with his country in the Toulon Tournament on Saturday after beating Ivory Coast on penalties in the final
  • The West Ham winger played three times for the Young Lions during the tournament success

“Pure joy” – the two simple words West Ham United winger Dan Kemp used to sum up his emotions after clinching the Toulon Tournament title with England U20s on Saturday.

The Young Lions, taking on Ivory Coast in the final of the prestigious French tournament, held their nerve in a vital penalty shootout after the 1-1 stalemate to eventually get their hands on the trophy for a second year running.

Sheffield United midfielder David Brooks had given England the lead after 13 minutes and with the scoreline still at 1-0 with the full 80 minutes played, it looked as though they were home and dry.

But one minute into injury time, there was a late twist as Ake Loba equalised, taking the tie straight to penalties.

The Lions remained calm, though, and scored all five of their penalties to clinch the title as their fellow U20 teammates would also do a day later in the U20 FIFA World Cup.

Kemp, who played three times during the competition, was delighted to get his hands on the trophy.

He said: “It was an amazing feeling to win such a great tournament with my country – the best experience I’ve had so far in my career. To put the England shirt on and play for your country is an incredible feeling and to go and win is amazing.

“The feeling at the end was amazing and pure joy. I’m proud to win for my country and proud of the boys after such a great tournament for us. We were all so happy and buzzing to win.

To put the England shirt on and play for your country is an incredible feeling and to go and win is amazing. The feeling at the end was pure joy.

Dan Kemp


“When Ivory Coast scored we were all a bit surprised as we felt we had done enough to see out the win but it shows in football it’s never over until the end. Then, it was about believing we could and will win it on penalties.”

Kemp did not get on the pitch in the final, but having been named in the squad for the first time just this summer, the winger was pleased with his progress during a maiden international call-up.

“I feel like it had been an amazing experience to play for my country three times and contribute with a couple of assists in the games I played in. I would have obviously loved to play in the final but I still feel I have contributed well to the tournament win.

“I want to keep working hard to make sure I get more and more international caps to come and one day make my debut for the senior team. That is the ultimate goal. I just want to keep learning more and more.

“This has been a perfect end to a great season for me personally and one that I’ve massively enjoyed. I am looking forward to resting up now and then getting back to working hard prior to the new season. I want to achieve more and more and win more next year.”