The England Under-21s squad to face Kazakhstan and Bosnia & Herzegovina in their final two Euro Qualifiers next month has been named.
Following the appointment of regular U21s head coach Gareth Southgate as interim senior team manager earlier this week, U20s boss Aidy Boothroyd will be taking charge for the trip to Aktobe next Thursday and then the game with Bosnia in Walsall on Tuesday 11 October.
Boothroyd has named a 22-man squad for the double-header, with England knowing that a result from either of the two games will be enough to see them qualify for next summer’s Euro Finals in Poland.
UEFA Euro Qualifiers
Kazakhstan v England
4pm (BST), Thursday 6 October 2016
Central Arena, Aktobe
England v Bosnia & Herzegovina
3pm, Tuesday 11 October 2016
Banks's Stadium, Walsall FC
Click here to purchase tickets
There’s a first U21s call-up for striker Tammy Abraham, who has taken the Championship by storm so far this season following his loan switch to Bristol City from Chelsea, on the day when he was also named as the PFA fans’ player of the month for August and September.
And Derby County goalkeeper Jonathan Mitchell is also named in an England squad for the first time, alongside the returning Jordan Pickford after he missed last month’s 6-1 win over Norway through injury.
"I’ve managed a lot of these players before with the U20s a couple of years ago, so I do know most of them," said Boothroyd.
"They’re obviously both very important games and there are no easy matches in international football.
"I only found out I was taking the U21s late on Wednesday, so it’s been a case of handing over the U20s to Paul [Williams] and the staff and now it’s about preparing for Kazakhstan and getting the U21s ready."
Tickets for the game with Bosnia at the Banks’s Stadium cost just £1 across the board, with the Three Lions hopefully having secured their Euro place by then with a result in Kazakhstan.
Boothroyd takes charge of the U21s in October and November, after previously being head coach of the U19s and U20s
But regardless of the situation, former U19s and U20s head coach Boothroyd is hoping his side can attract a good crowd in the Midlands to see them look to finish off their qualifying group in style.
"I hope we can get some good support for the game, it’s our last game of the campaign," he added.
"Qualifying for the Euros is a difficult achievement and every team provides a different problem to overcome so it will be another difficult game.
"Hopefully we’ll be in a position where we’re qualified for the Euros, but we know we’ve got two games to do that and it’ll be nice to do it in front of a home crowd."
The squad will meet up at St. George’s Park on Sunday evening to begin their preparations for the first game in Kazakhstan.
Goalkeepers: Jonathan Mitchell (Derby County), Jordan Pickford (Sunderland), Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United)
Defenders: Calum Chambers (Middlesbrough, loan from Arsenal), Ben Chilwell (Leicester City), Brendan Galloway (West Bromwich Albion, loan from Everton), Rob Holding (Arsenal), Mason Holgate (Everton), Dominic Iorfa (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Matt Targett (Southampton)
Midfielders: Lewis Baker (Vitesse Arnhem, loan from Chelsea), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea), Isaac Hayden (Newcastle United), Will Hughes (Derby County), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), John Swift (Reading), James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Forwards: Tammy Abraham (Bristol City, loan from Chelsea), Demarai Gray (Leicester City), Jack Grealish (Aston Villa), Nathan Redmond (Southampton), Duncan Watmore (Sunderland)
Tickets for the game with Bosnia & Herzegovina at Walsall cost just £1 and can be purchased by clicking here or calling 01922 651 416.