Jake Gallagher and Nick Arnold have been called-up to Paul Fairclough’s England C squad for the International Challenge Trophy fixture against Estonia Under 23 in Tallinn on Tuesday 15 November.
Gallagher is set to win his ninth cap for England C, whilst Arnold wins his first call-up. Victory in Tallinn will secure England’s qualification from their group, having beaten Ukraine in Kiev in March but lost to Slovakia’s Under 21 side at Gander Green Lane in June.
The match will be played at the Albert Le Coq Arena, the home of the full national team and club side FC Flora, in the Estonian capital. With a capacity of 9,692, it is Estonia’s largest stadium and will also host the 2018 UEFA Super Cup Final between the winners of the Champions League and Europa League Finals.
Prior to this fixture, a training camp will be held at the Unversity of Warwick between Sunday 30 October and Tuesday 1 November.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was buzzing,” admitted Nick, “and am really looking forward to meeting up with the squad. Playing for your country at any level is an honour, and it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s fantastic to be seen and spotted, and to hopefully show that my game is improving.
“I didn’t expect it, with me not playing every week, but I’ve been talked about (as being called-up) before and this is the stage that I want to get to. I came to Aldershot Town to move to another level, and this was the next step.”
As a first-timer in Fairclough’s squad, Nick is grateful to have the squad’s most experienced player, in team-mate Gallagher, alongside him. “It’ll be good to have a friendly face with me, and you probably couldn’t ask for a nicer geezer, either. He’s a very good player, and to play with players like him on such a good stage would be a proud moment.
“It’ll be a hard few days out there, trying to get the win, but it’s another learning curve. You’re going to learn new tactics, play with different players and in different formations. As such a young squad, we’ll be learning together.”
Arnold has displayed his versatility as much as his quality in the first three months of the season, but he feels there is more to come. “I think I can still do better, and I tell the gaffer that – I don’t think I’ve 100% hit the heights,” he admitted, having featured more regularly as a left-back than his preferred position at right-back. “I feel like I’m doing well when I come in to the team but you can always improve. I know there’s more in my game to give, and hopefully that will come, especially with the confidence boost from this call-up. Now I’ve got to keep working hard and keep pushing on.”
The full squad is: Nick Arnold (Aldershot Town), Luke Coulson (Eastleigh), Joel Dixon (Barrow), Morgan Ferrier (Boreham Wood), Jake Gallagher (Aldershot Town), Sam Habergham (Lincoln City), James Hardy (AFC Fylde), Oliver Hawkins (Dagenham and Redbridge), Ethan Pinnock (Forest Green Rovers), Sean Raggett (Lincoln City), Matthew Robinson (Dagenham and Redbridge), Grant Smith (Boreham Wood), Elliot Whitehouse (Nuneaton Town), Jordan Williams (Barrow), Daniel Wishart (Forest Green Rovers), Alex Woodyard (Lincoln City)