England C have an ICT Tournament semi-final at Dartford on Tuesday
England C v Turkey
The International Challenge Trophy
7.45pm, Tuesday 5 February 2013
Princes Park, Dartford FC
by Glenn Lavery
Paul Fairclough believes he can call upon his strongest-ever batch of players for Tuesday night’s International Challenge Trophy semi-final.
The England C manager has guided his side to the last four of an increasingly competitive competition after collecting four points from three group games.
The Three Lions, made up of the best Under-23 players from below the Football League, drew with Italy at Fleetwood Town this time last year and beat Belgium 2-1 in September, either side of a 4-0 defeat in Russia.
Fairclough said: “We have kept the nucleus of the squad that was successful against Belgium, but we have added a few players who are in good form at the moment and I think this squad is as good as it has ever been.
“Hopefully we can get the right result and make it through to the final.”
Although Fairclough’s charges may not play League football, the teams they face tend to use this tournament as an opportunity to field their second string.
When England lost in Russia last June, the hosts were able to call upon Denis Cheryshev who plays for Real Madrid Castilla, the Spanish giants’ second team.
Fairclough explained: “Every game is like a Cup Final for this England C team because of the level of opposition we are coming up against.
“This is a really tough competition. We are not facing semi-professional players from other countries, we are facing their ‘B’ teams or their Under-21 sides.
“The Turkey squad we will face is essentially their Under-23 squad so we know it’s going to be a really good challenge.
“I have watched their last two games and I have been impressed with what I’ve seen.
“They are a very, very good technical team and their shape is really interesting. It will give our players experience of coming up against a different formation and style of play than maybe they have faced in the past.
“However, I know I have got a very good group of players to call upon and I’m sure they will give a very good account of themselves.”
Preston Edwards - Ebbsfleet United FC
Sam Mott - Welling United FC
Ryan Jackson - Macclesfield Town FC
Aswad Thomas - Grimsby Town FC
Jamie Turley - Forest Green Rovers FC
Eddie Oshodi - Forest Green Rovers FC
Simon Ainge - Luton Town FC
Lindon Meikle - Mansfield Town FC
Josh Gillies - Gateshead FC
Kenny Davis - Braintree Town FC
Keiron Forbes - Forest Green Rovers FC
Rossie Jarvis* - Cambridge United FC
Sam Wedgbury - Macclesfield Town FC
Scott Spencer - Hyde FC
Andre Gray - Luton Town FC
Christian Jolley - Newport County FC
* replaced James Vincent of Kidderminster Harriers FC
Admission for the game will be free, although tickets will be issued by the club. Tickets can be obtained by contacting the ticket hotline at Dartford FC which is 07513377947