Teenager called up to Under-19 squad for European Championship qualifiers
Adam Webster left the ESS Stadium on Saturday evening (October 5) in an official Football Association car as he heads to Slovenia for three matches with the England Under-19 side this week.
Head coach Noel Blake has selected an 18-man squad for the three European U19 Championship first qualifying round matches, when England will face the host nation on Thursday (October 10), before taking on Andorra on Saturday and finally playing Switzerland next Tuesday night.
“I was quite shocked, to be honest, but really happy,” admitted Webster.
“There’s nothing much better than playing for your country, so I was buzzing to get the recall. I wasn’t expecting the call-up but I’ve played quite a lot of games since coming to Aldershot, and that can only be good for me.”
The 18-year-old, who has been ever-present for the Shots since joining on loan from Portsmouth, has previously won five caps for the Under-19 side, and rejoins a squad which features only four players from clubs outside of the Premier League.
“That is quite a compliment,” smiled Webster on his exalted colleagues, but recognises that he perhaps has a crucial advantage over them with his experience in senior football.
“There are quite a few players in the squad from Premier League clubs who are just playing for their Under-21 sides. They are obviously great players but there aren’t many who are playing regular first-team football just yet.”
Amongst the 18 are Liverpool’s Jordan Ibe, Josh Murphy and Carlton Morris from FA Youth Cup winners Norwich City, plus four members of the Chelsea youth team and two from Manchester United.
England will play all three games in Ptuj, in North-East Slovenia, with the top two countries from the group of four progressing to the Elite Qualifying Round next May.
“Everybody should get a chance to play, with three games in five days, even though it’s an important qualification campaign. It’s a big workload in a short space of time,” said Webster, “and if I train well and do well, I will hopefully be in with a shout. I’m really looking forward to it.”