Squad named for Victory Shield opener
By Nicholas Veevers
Thursday, 29 September, 2011
Kenny Swain selects 18-man squad for game with Northern Ireland.
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England U16s Head Coach Kenny Swain has named his squad for this season's Sky Sports Victory Shield opener against Northern Ireland in Chesterfield.
After winning the competition for the last 11 years, Swain will be looking to get off to a good start at the B2Net Stadium against the Ulstermen, as well as helping his young side make their first tentative steps in international football.
One of the squad was part of last season's Victory Shield group in the shape of goalkeeper Angus Gunn and Cheslea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek was called up for a game earlier this year only for an injury to see him withdrawn, whilst defender Ashley Brown-Smith and striker Mason Bennett joined Gunn for the Nordic Tournament in Iceland during August. So they will bring a little bit of experience to the party but for the rest of the players, this will be their first taste of life with England.
Speaking about the game and his squad selection, Swain explained: "I have to say it is an exciting time when the Victory Shield comes around.
"Over these next three matches, we will be able to have a close look at up to 30 players and assess their performances.
"The process began in the summer at Keele University, where we had a close look at 40 players from across the country. Our scouts monitor players throughout the year and information is fed back to myself and the other national coaches about the potential and progression of players.
“Each year always varies on the type of player we seem to produce, some years we have a lot of gifted midfielders, other years we have some outstanding defenders and strikers. I see this year as no different and hopefully the balance of the squad will be excellent like in recent years.
"It is a fantastic opportunity for people to go to the matches and see the best young English talent coming through our system."
Goalkeepers: Angus Gunn (Manchester City), Alex Palmer (West Bromwich Albion)
Defenders: Josh Aina (Chelsea), Arlen Birch (Everton) ** Aaron Hayden (Chelsea), Bryn Morris (Middlesbrough)**, Connor Ogilvie (Tottenham Hotspur), Ben O'Hanlon (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Ashley Smith Brown (Manchester City).
Midfielders: Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), Lewis Cook (Leeds United), Dan Crowley (Aston Villa), Josh Cullen (West Ham United)***, Conor Hunte (Chelsea), Oluwaseyi Ojo (MK Dons), Emmanuel Sonupe (Tottenham Hotspur).
Forwards: Mason Bennett (Derby County), Jordan Brown (Arsenal)*, William Marsh (Liverpool).
** Replaces Bryn Morris of Middlesbrough - withdrawn injured.
* Replaces Jerome Sinclair of Liverpool - withdrawn injured.
*** Replaces Reise Allassani of Crystal Palace - withdrawn injured.
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