Stags to host international match

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MANSFIELD Town has been selected to host England U18s first game of the new season, when they take on Italy U18s next month.

The match will take place at One Call Stadium on Wednesday, 24th October, (7.30pm kick off).

After being selected for match, Stags’ chief executive officer Carolyn Radford said: “We consider it an honour for the Football Association to have selected the One Call Stadium to host this international match.

“This is a proud moment for Mansfield Town Football Club, our supporters and the town of Mansfield as a whole.

“The match will give local people a rare opportunity to see England’s rising stars and we hope the people of Nottinghamshire and further afield can support this game.”

Head coach Noel Blake will take charge of the Young Lions again this season, in what is a non-competitive age group sandwiched in between UEFA competitions at U17 and U19 level.

“It’s a massively important age group for us,” revealed Blake.

“We only play two fixtures at this level per season, but it’s an important age group for us because it throws up different situations and allows you to look at some of the late developers in the group along with an opportunity to look at those players from last year’s U17s.

“It’s an important age group for us though because it throws up different situations and allows you to look at some of the late developers in the group along with an opportunity to look at those players from last year’s U17s.”

In recent seasons, Blake has introduced the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to international football in his various squads and he insists that the opportunity to earn a call-up is always there.

“The door is always open for players to come in and impress, so the U18s is a chance to look at some fresh faces and in the last few years we have managed to bring a few players through and then into the U19s and beyond,” revealed Blake.

“You only have to look at our U18s two years ago when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came into the system against Poland.

“And in this year’s U19s squad, there are players such as Eric Dier, Jack O’Connell and Jack Stephens who first played in the U18s fixtures last year and are now in the U19s squad.”

Tickets are priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions, and can be purchased by calling Mansfield Town Football Club’s ticket line on 01623 482 482.