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England U17 stars hail Middlesbrough academy

England U17 stars Nathan Porritt and Jonathan Franks have paid tribute to Middlesbrough's academy system.

"I think the reason why the club have got such a strong youth system is down to the coaches," Porritt told Boro's website. "They work with the young players a lot and focus on their development.

"The fact that they have given other youngsters a chance in the first team, together with the amount of time they invest in us, gives us a lot of confidence for the future," said Franks. "We hope that ultimately we'll get an opportunity to play Premiership football.

"I've got no doubt that the experience we have of playing for Middlesbrough helps England," adds Franks. "We know how each other play, we understand each other's game - so that gives us an advantage.

"We're friends off the pitch too as well as being team mates on it, which I suppose makes us work even harder for one another."

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