Fleetwood Town's delight as youngster is handed England U20 call-up

Fleetwood Town head coach Simon Grayson has congratulated academy graduate James Hill following his selection for the England U20 squad.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 8:00 am

The defender received his first international call-up at the end of the week, ahead of England’s game against Romania on September 6.

Hill’s selection comes two years after he made his Town debut against Blackpool, aged just 17.

He spent a couple of seasons in and out of the first team set-up before Grayson gave him a run in the team during the 2020/21 campaign.

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Fleetwood Town defender James Hill Picture: Sam Fielding/PRiME Media Images Limited

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Grayson said: “It’s massive for everybody connected with this football club, with James and his family.

“I pulled him downstairs and told him and there was nearly a tear in his eye.

“To achieve playing for England, or to be called up to the England squad for the first time, is something you’ve dreamed about doing at whatever level it is.

“He was absolutely made up when I passed on the news.

“That’s great from his perspective and, in terms of the football club, it’s brilliant.

“The owner (Andy Pilley) has a model for the young players, he wants to educate them in the right way and move them forward.

“In the end, there is no greater source of pride than when a player gets called up for his country.

“We’ve also got some U21s going away with Northern Ireland.

“That speaks volumes of where this football club is and where this process is at Poolfoot.”

Town are back in action this afternoon when they face Plymouth Argyle (3pm), having made the long trip south yesterday.

Plymouth have won two of their opening four games and sit eighth in the early table.

Town got their first win of the season last time out against Cheltenham Town and Grayson is hoping for more of the same this weekend as they seek back-to-back victories.

He said: “They’ve had some good results, most notably beating Shrewsbury Town last week 3-0.

“It’s always a tough place to go, they play a certain style of football which is pleasing on the eye. They’ve got threats like Luke Jephcott and Ryan Hardie, who I know from my Blackpool days.

“We’ll go there and be respectful of the opposition, and learn from what we’ve needed to do better over the last few weeks.

“We need to be ruthless in both boxes and hopefully come away with three points and a clean sheet.”

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