Fleetwood Town shot-stopper Billy Crellin was an unused substitute as England’s U17 side started their World Cup campaign with a thumping 4-0 win over Chile today but Town head coach Uwe Rosler urged him to be patient and take his chance if it comes.
The 17-year-old Fleetwood keeper started on the bench in Kolkata, India with Manchester City starlet Curtis Anderson getting the gloves for this opening Group F game.
Crellin watched on as his team mates strolled to a 4-0 opening group game win as they built on aa fifth minute goal from Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi with Borussia Dortmund forward Bradon Sancho netting twice in the 51st and 60th minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Chile when their shot-stopper Julio Borque was shown a straight red card fro bringing down Rhian Brewster in the 78th minute with Manchester United youngster Angel Gomes putting the icing on the cake for England with a sublime free-kick three minutes later.
Though he did not feature for Steve Cooper’s side today it has already been a historic year for Crellin.
The homegrown keeper became the first ever Fleetwood Town player to represent England at senior level when he featured in the U18 friendly game against South Africa.
He got another international cap in England’s 3-2 pre-World Cup warm-up win over New Zealand last weekend but the shot-stopper, who is the first player from the club’s new Academy to sign a professional contract with the Cod Army, will have to bide his time to usurp Anderson who is expected to keep the gloves for the next group game against Mexico on Wednesday.
He is yet to make his first ever senior appearance for Rosler’s Fleetwood first team but the Town head coach urged the shot-stopper, who takes part in the first team’s pre-match warm-up before every League One game, to be ready.
He said: “It is very good for Fleetwood and very good for Billy.
“Did I think he would start the first game - probably not.
“But the tournament is long and you need to be prepared for the moment you be called up and strange things happen.
“You might get a chance that you do not expect.
“When you use that careers have been born out of that, big careers.
“The good thing with Billy is that he is mentally unphased by playing U18 football for Fleetwood or playing for England in India.
“He has the mentality to go a long way in the game and that will help him in the World Cup if he is asked to play.”