Jordan Henderson has become the first ASE graduate who achieved the full framework of his qualifications to move on to represent England at senior level.
His elevation to Fabio Capello’s full squad marks a significant achievement for the programme and recognises the swift strides the midfielder has made as a Premier League player.
Just two years ago Henderson was still an Apprentice on the LFE programme at Sunderland.
The 20 year old was employed in a holding midfield role alongside Gareth Barry in the 2-1 defeat by France at Wembley on Wednesday night.
Henderson’s Club Manager Steve Bruce was delighted to see his man in the team despite his concerns that the role given to him was restrictive.
Bruce said: “You can’t ask Jordan to just sit because you don’t get the best out of him. You’ve got to let him go and rampage around the pitch because, for me, that’s when he’s at his best. He looked a little bit restricted.”
“I think Jordan did as well as anybody else. It was fantastic to see him in an England shirt and I’m sure he enjoyed it,” added Bruce.
“He’s had a wonderful rise in 18 months. Now’s the next stage, to make sure he matures and develops, and that’s where we’ve got to be careful.”
“He’s a wonderful talent and we must nurture that talent and get the best out of it rather than building him up and building him up, like this country tends to do, and knocking him down very quickly.”