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England call up a shock for Southend United goalkeeper Ted Smith
SOUTHEND United youngster Ted Smith has been selected in England’s under-18 squad for their forthcoming games against Hungary.
The goalkeeper from Benfleet, who has been with Blues since the age of 12, has been named in an 18-player squad.
And Smith admitted he was surprised to be included.
“I was a little bit shocked by it all to be honest, but at the same time I was so excited and just can’t wait to join up with the squad now,” said Smith.
“I’ve been involved a few times before but this is a step up as it’s the full under-18 side.
“It’s really exciting and I’m extremely grateful for the work everyone has put in to get me this opportunity.”
Smith has been selected alongside Manchester City shot-stopper Angus Gunn and he is already relishing the opportunity.
“It will be great to work alongside Angus and train with him too,” said Smith.
“He wasn’t there when I’ve been before but I’m sure he’s a top goalkeeper who I am looking forward to working with.
“There’s some big clubs represented like Newcastle, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool, so it’s great to be involved and to be given the opportunity.
“I also have to thank everyone at Southend United and this is great for the club.”
Smith, who captains Blues youth team, will spend a week with the national team at their St George’s Park base, beginning on Tuesday October 8. Two friendlies against Hungary will be played during that time at the non-competitive age-group which has no UEFA or FIFA matches scheduled.
Blues head of youth Ricky Duncan is rightfully proud of Smith’s call up.
“I think everyone at the club that has played a part in his development should be very proud and so should the supporters,” said Duncan.
“For a Category Three, League Two academy to produce someone for the national side is a top achievement and it’s great recognition for the work we do.”
Right-back Jordan Gabriel has been called up for Scotland’s under-16 side while Macauley Keaton will take part in a trial tomorrow for English-based players available to be selected for Republic of Ireland’s under-18s.