Stuart Pearce has handed England's young stars a chance to claim a spot for Euro 2013
has opened the door for Euro 2013
to five new faces as he names a 21-man squad for next week’s Under-21 International against Northern Ireland.
Fresh from qualification for their fourth consecutive Finals tournament following a two-legged play-off victory over Serbia last month
, Pearce now begins his preparations for next summer as they take on the Irish at Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road on Tuesday 13 November (7.30pm KO)
And he is also giving some younger players the chance to stake their claim for a seat on the flight to the Israel in June.
As well as the first-timers to the squad – goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, defenders Nat Chalobah and Liam Moore, midfielder Will Hughes and forward Benik Afobe – Pearce has also recalled Nathaniel Clyne and Sammy Ameobi.
“This will be an opportunity for a number of younger players, and those who have not had much game time, to impress and put themselves in contention for a place on the plane next summer,” Pearce told TheFA.com.
“There are young players within this group who will be able to go again with the Under-21s for the 2015 campaign, so every chance to play for England will give them experience they will no doubt call upon in the future.”
The Young Lions will be hoping to wrap up a perfect 2012 with another victory in Blackpool. England have not conceded a goal at all this year throughout the final stages of qualification for Euro 2013.
Now, after five victories on the bounce, another over the Irish will equal a record winning streak that dates back to 1991.
“I’m proud of how well the team has performed this year to clinch qualification for the Finals yet again,” Pearce said.
“We are now one game away from a sixth consecutive victory, a feat not achieved at Under-21s level for over 20 years.
“Hopefully a solid performance here tonight will also provide the team with a springboard as we build for Israel.”
England Under-21s Squad in full (click here for profiles)
Ben Amos (Hull City - on loan from Manchester United), Sam Johnstone (Manchester United), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough)
Nathaniel Chalobah (Watford - on loan from Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Tom Lees (Leeds United), Liam Moore (Leicester City), Jack Robinson (Liverpool), Adam Smith (Millwall - on loan from Tottenham Hotspur), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool)
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Will Hughes (Derby County), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers), Josh McEachran (Middlesbrough - on loan from Chelsea), Nick Powell (Manchester United), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur)
Benik Afobe (Bolton Wanderers - on loan from Arsenal), Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle United), Tom Ince (Blackpool), Connor Wickham (Sunderland), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Fans can get tickets to watch England’s young stars for the terrific price of just £10 for adults, £5 for children and a family ticket (two adults and two children) is only £25.
Tickets can be purchased by calling 0844 847 1953 or online at www.eticketing.co.uk/blackpoolfc
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