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Schools out as trio are picked for England

North Shropshire | Sport | Published:

Following in the footsteps of Chris Smalling is the dream for three Shropshire youngsters as they prepare to embark on international action.

Goalkeeper Andy Wycherley (North Shropshire College) and strikers Joe Thomas and Zak Lilly (both Thomas Telford School) are all in the English Schools Under-18s squad.

Lilly is an aspiring talent in the AFC Telford United set-up. Manchester United and England defender Smalling signed for Fulham following his appearances for the schools' national side.

The county trio, who all represent Shropshire Schools and Colleges FA, have just returned from a warm weather training camp in Spain.

The action starts on Friday when England start their Centenary Shield campaign away to Northern Ireland.

A trip to face Wales follows on March 18 before home fixtures against Scotland and Republic of Ireland on April 1 and 8 respectively.

The final match will have added meaning for the Shropshire trio with it taking place in Oswestry at Park Hall, home of The New Saints. The Scotland match is being played at Fleetwood Town.

Mark Hignett, SSCFA vice-chairman and ESFA council memeber, said "This promises to be an exciting occasion for Shropshire and for Oswestry.

"We are absolutely delighted to be working with The New Saints FC to stage this prestigious international fixture.

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"It will also be a very fitting send-off to the ESFA Under-18 boys' sports therapist Steve Wilderspin, following his excellent years of service.

"Steve works tirelessly combining his role as director of football at Shrewsbury School.

"With being the manager of the SSCFA Under-18 boys squad, he has still managed to fit in four distinguished years with the national squad.

"For Shropshire as a whole to be able to thank Steve on behalf of the nation for his work with England will be a special evening."

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