Three squad changes for Under-21s
Monday, 07 November, 2011
Keane, Bennett and Ameobi to join up in Colchester
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The England Under-21s team gathered in Colchester on Monday to begin their preparations for their European Championship Qualifier against Iceland, the first of two important games in the next week.
Stuart Pearce has had to make three changes to the 25-man squad named last week following injuries to Sunderland’s Connor Wickham and Middlesbrough’s Alex Nimely, currently on loan from Manchester City, and the Senior team call-up for Everton’s Jack Rodwell.
In their place come ‘Boro defender Joe Bennett, who missed last month’s trips to Iceland and Norway through illness, Manchester United’s Will Keane, who joins from the U19s squad, and Newcastle United forward Sammy Ameobi, earning his first call into Pearce's group.
The Three Lions meet Iceland on Thursday at Colchester’s Weston Homes Community Stadium, tickets for which sold out three weeks ago. And the squad had the chance to test the League One club’s impressive surface on Monday afternoon during their first session of the week. Click here to watch video from training, including a goal from former England defender Pearce.
The likes of Tottenham midfielder Tom Carroll and Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne were among those gaining their first taste of an Under-21s training session, while Jason Steele was back in action for the first time since the summer's European Under-21 Championship in Denmark after missing the early season due to injury.
Following the Group 8 encounter in Essex, the squad then travels to Mons in Belgium to wrap up 2011 with their fifth game of qualification on Monday night, with the Finals in Israel 2013 their ultimate aim.
Both matches can be seen live on ESPN.
The England Under-21s squad in full
Ben Amos (Manchester United), Jack Butland (Cheltenham Town - loan from Birmingham City), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough)
Nathan Baker (Aston Villa), Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough), Ryan Bennett (Peterborough United), Matthew Briggs (Fulham), Nathaniel Clyne (Crystal Palace), Craig Dawson (West Bromwich Albion), Lewis Dunk (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Adam Smith (MK Dons - loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
Ross Barkley (Everton), Jacob Butterfield (Barnsley), Tom Carroll (Tottenham Hotspur), Gary Gardner (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers), Josh McEachran (Chelsea), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal)
Sammy Ameobi (Newcastle United), Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Will Keane (Manchester United), Marvin Sordell (Watford)
We'll bring you all the latest updates for the England Under-21s squad here or via www.twitter.com/thefadotcom