Angus Gunn, Kean Bryan and Ashley Smith-Brown have all been called up to the England under-17s squad for the upcoming St George’s Park International Tournament.
All three have been called up before by manager Kenny Swain for the tournament which commemorates the opening of the new St George's Park FA headquarters in Burton on Trent.
With a season’s experience under their belts at international level, City's three promising talents will be looking to impress in the matches against Italy, Portugal and Turkey.
Full-back Ashley Smith-Brown is delighted to have graduated from England u16s to 17s:
“It’s just a dream to be involved with your country, it’s what we play for,” said the defender.
“It should be a great experience as I’ll be training at one of the best training complexes in the world with different coaches and maybe I can learn some different things that I can bring back to City,” he said.
We’ve had a really good pre-season, going to Portugal, playing against a men’s side at Hallam and then the Oberndorf Tournament – all of this can help us going into the season which we’re all feeling really confident about.
St George’s Park in Burton-on-Trent is the new National Football Centre constructed by the FA to be a base for England squads of all ages. The under-17s are the first to use the facilities.
All three players will also hoping to be involved on Saturday when Adam Sadler’s under-18s are in action, taking on West Ham at Platt Lane on Saturday in a pre-season warm-up.
Sadler’s squad will be looking to shake off any lingering disappointment from their fourth place finish in Oberndorf, where they were defeated by Schalke in the third place play-off.
The summer’s first-team call ups have presented Adam with a chance to blood some of the under-16s into the under-18s team which can only be of benefit to emerging talents like Brandon Barker and Sam Tattum, who both impressed in the recent pre-season tour of Portugal.
This young under-18s team were pitted against Rhyl in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday night and team captain George Swan believes that the 2-0 win was a great workout for the team.
“There’s no substitute for getting out to play a match, we’ve been training really hard all summer but we just need matches now as we get ready to play Chelsea in the first league match,” said Swan.
City face Chelsea on Friday 17 August and Swan knows that they are in for a tough encounter.
“We know that Chelsea are going to be right up there at the end of the season,” said Swan, “we’re going to have to work hard to make sure that we can challenge to win our group but the lads are really excited to take part in the new league and I’m sure we’ll give a good account of ourselves.”