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England squad named for tonight

24 October 2012

A crowd in excess of 5,000 is expected to see England U18s take on their Italian counterparts at the One Call Stadium tonight and Head Coach Noel Blake has named an 18-man squad for the game.  
Despite the U18s age group being a non-competitive year, Blake still likes to play matches as this level as it represents an important bridge between U17 and U19 football and also gives him a chance to select players who are new to the international system and have impressed at club level.

That is the case again here, with four players called up to an England squad for the first time in their careers in Everton midfielder Conor Grant, Liverpool starlet Jordan Ibe, Manchester United midfielder Liam Grimshaw and Norwich City attacker Josh Murphy.

There is no shortage of experience otherwise though, with the rest of the squad having represented the Young Lions at either U16 or U17 level in the previous two seasons.

The U18s played two games last season, drawing 1-1 against Slovakia and then beating Poland 3-0 at Crewe.

The Squad

Goalkeepers: Luke Coddington (Middlesbrough), Cameron Dawson (Sheffield Wednesday)** 

Defenders: Leo Chambers (West Ham United), Sam Coulson (Stoke City)***, Alistair Gordon (Chelsea), Liam Grimshaw (Manchester United), Isaac Hayden (Arsenal), Adam Webster (Portsmouth)^

Midfielders: Conor Grant (Everton), John Swift (Chelsea), James Weir (Manchester United)*, Luke Woodland (Bolton Wanderers)

Forwards: Devante Cole (Manchester City), Jordan Ibe (Liverpool), Christopher Long (Everton), Jacob Murphy (Norwich City)^^, Josh Murphy (Norwich City).

* Replaces Ben Pearson (Manchester United) who is withdrawn.
** Replaces George Willis (Sheffield United) who is withdrawn.
*** Replaces Shay Facey (Manchester City) who is withdrawn.
^ Replaces Luke Shaw (Southampton) who is withdrawn.
^^ Replaces Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill (Arsenal) who is withdrawn. 
James Wilson (Manchester United) withdrawn. Replacement TBC

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