Welbeck headlines long list of international call-ups
Posted by nickogs20 on February 6, 2009
Next week sees a slew of international fixtures at all levels of the game, and with that comes an impressive list of call-ups from United’s youth ranks.
Perhaps the most notable of those call-ups is Danny Welbeck, who has been selected in the England Under-21 squad for the first time. Having forced his way into the first-team reckoning at United and impressed in his early appearances for the Reds, the prospect of a place in the squad for this summer’s European U21 Championships in Sweden is now a realistic one for the 18 year-old striker, something acknowledged by England U21 boss Stuart Pearce:
“As we saw from the last Championship, there are also players who come with a late run to get into the squad. In this squad, we are having a look at Danny Welbeck who has done well in the U19s and broken into the team at Old Trafford which is no mean feat.”
Welbeck is joined in the 22-man squad for next Tuesday’s game against Ecuador (to be held at Malaga’s La Rosaleda stadium) by fellow Reds Tom Heaton and Fraizer Campbell, as well as former Reds striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. Indeed, all three strikers included in the squad came through the United youth setup.
Further down the age groups for England, Danny Drinkwater is the lone call-up at Under-19 level but an impressive total of seven Reds have been selected at Under-17 or Under-16 level. Sam Johnstone recieves his first call-up to the former age range, while Will Keane and John Cofie are in the U16 setup for the first time.
Elsewhere, Jonny Evans is unsurprisingly in the senior Northern Ireland squad, Darron Gibson is likely to be in Giovanni Trappatoni’s full Republic of Ireland squad when it is named this weekend, there are U21 call-ups for Craig Cathcart, Corry Evans (Northern Ireland) and David Gray (Scotland), while Norway have selected Magnus Eikrem and Joshua King for tournaments at U19 and U17 level respectively, both to be held in the Spanish resort of La Manga (although the latter has subsequently been withdrawn from the squad, hopefully as a precaution rather than due to any reoccurence of injury).
Three other young Reds – Oliver Norwood, Conor Devlin and Johnny Gorman – recieved call-ups to the Northern Ireland U18 squad for this week’s Copa del Atlantico, a four-team tournament in Gran Canaria also involving Spain, Germany and the Canary Islands. Unfortunately, the weather conditions in the UK prevented the squad from assembling and travelling to the Canaries and NI had to withdraw from the tournament.
The inclusion of Norwood though is particularly interesting, the Burnley-born midfielder having previously represented England at U16 and U17 level. Ollie is however eligible to play for Northern Ireland through his paternal grandparents and his call-up is the product of a major revamp in scouting at the IFA with regards to English-born players with Northern Irish ancestry. Time will tell which country he chooses to pursue his international career with.
Full list of call-ups
San Marino vs Northern Ireland (World Cup Qualifier, Stadio Olimpico (San Marino), 11/2/09)
Republic of Ireland vs Georgia (World Cup Qualifier, Croke Park, 11/2/09)
Darron Gibson (probable)
England U21 vs Ecuador U21 (Friendly, La Rosadela (Malaga), 10/2/09)
Northern Ireland U21 vs Wales U21 (Friendly, Ballymena Showgrounds, 10/2/09)
Scotland U21 for training camp (9-12/2/09)
England U19 vs Spain U19 (Friendly, Fitness First Stadium, 10/2/09)
Norway U19 for La Manga Tournament (La Manga (Spain), 9-13/2/09)
Magnus Wolff Eikrem
Northern Ireland U18 for Copa del Atlantico (Gran Canaria, 3-7/2/09)
England U17 for Algarve Tournament (Portugal, 21-24/2/09)
Norway U17 for La Manga Tournament (La Manga (Spain), 8-12/2/09)
England U16 vs Germany U16 (Friendly, Hoffenheim, 17/2/09)