Pearce signs England extension

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has been rewarded for his efforts with a new two-year contract.The 49-year-old has led the England Under-21 national side to three successive European Championships, including a runner-up finish in 2009 and a semi-final appearance in 2007.

But their 2011 campaign ended in disappointment, with England unable to make it past the group stages in Denmark last month.

Regardless, Pearce has been slated for another two years in the job, where he works alongside England manager Fabio Capello to bring the nation’s best young talent to the fore.

He has already mentored the likes of Joe Hart, James Milner, Ashley Young, Adam Johnson and Theo Walcott during his time with the national set-up.

Football Association chairman David Bernstein backed Pearce to rebound from the lacklustre showing in Denmark when qualifying for the 2013 championships gets underway in September.

“Continuity is vital as we continue to build our club ethos, and Stuart is an important member of the England coaching structure,” Bernstein said.

“I know he was as disappointed as anyone at the Under-21s’ most recent tournament results at the European Championships in Denmark, but we mustn’t forget the team had an excellent qualifying campaign and continues to produce young players ready and prepared for senior team experience.”

Pearce added: “I am delighted to have signed my new contract and to be able to continue in a role I very much enjoy.”

“In my time with the England Under-21s we have experienced an excellent record and my aim now is to qualify for Israel in 2013 and hopefully go on to secure silverware with another exciting group of young players.”