Spurs ace gets first England call with Chelsea and Palace kids
PUBLISHED: 16:49 03 October 2012 | UPDATED: 17:10 03 October 2012
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Tottenham striker Andros Townsend has been called into the England Under-21 side for the first time and joins three other Spurs players in Stuart Pearce’s squad for the Euro 2013 play-off double-header against Serbia next week.
Former Queens Park Rangers Academy product Raheem Sterling and his Manchester United ace Nick Powell are the other first timers in the young Lions side.
Steven Caulker, Danny Rose (on loan at Sunderland) and Adam Smith are the other youngsters from White Hart Lane included in the 26-man squad, while is Chelsea’s Josh McEachran (currently on loan at Middlesbrough) and Crystal Palace wonderkid Wilfred Zaha make up the contingent from the capital’s clubs.
The England kids will be looking to secure qualification to their fourth successive finals tournament.
A goal in four club appearances this season for Tottenham midfielder Townsend has earned him a chance at Under-21 level, while Manchester United’s Nick Powell makes his step up after figuring throughout England’s younger age-groups.
Pearce said: “Andros Townsend has also done well and has been around Tottenham’s first team squad consistently this year. Nick Powell got his move from Crewe, to a massive club at United, and has made his first team bow. He has a really bright future. I’m really looking forward to bringing them into the squad to give us a lift. They couldn’t come in at a more crucial time.”
Pearce added: “We have to put as strong a squad as possible out. If you don’t do that at this stage of the competition, then you can make life very difficult for yourself.
“In the side for our play-off against Romania two years ago we had nine players who have all gone on to play for the senior team.”
Pearce last came up against Serbia at Euro 2007 in Holland, and having assessed their recent form in the competition is expecting a very difficult double-header.
“No matter who you face at this stage of the competition, it’s going to be really tough,” he admitted. “There are 14 nations left in qualifying all going for just seven slots, alongside hosts Israel, at the Finals.
“Serbia, like us, were unbeaten on their way to winning their group, so that illustrates just how difficult it is to qualify for this tournament.
“They have some very good players with around seven of them stepping up into the senior set-up during this campaign. We last played them in 2007, winning 2-0, but they have a terrific record in this competition.
“The Serbians have reached the Final or semi-final stage three times in the last ten years and, after not qualifying last time around, they’ll be keen to get to Israel.”
He added: “We are under no illusion how tough these two games will be for us, so we need to be at our very best.
“We’re also hoping the fans can get behind the team as they have in our two recent visits to Carrow Road.
“Both times we have played in front of full stadiums here and the players really feed off the atmosphere that is generated.”
Goalkeepers: Ben Amos (Hull City - loan from Manchester United), Jack Butland (Birmingham City), Declan Rudd (Norwich City), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough)
Defenders: Ryan Bennett (Norwich City), Steven Caulker (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion), Tom Lees (Leeds United), Jack Rodwell (Manchester City), Danny Rose (Sunderland - loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Smith (Tottenham Hotspur), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool)
Midfielders: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Tom Ince (Blackpool), Henri Lansbury (Nottingham Forest), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers), Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough - loan from Chelsea), Nick Powell (Manchester United), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Forwards: Nathan Delfouneso (Blackpool - loan from Aston Villa), Marvin Sordell (Bolton Wanderers), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Connor Wickham (Sunderland).