Andy Carroll, 18, is in the England Under-19 squad to face Belarus at Nottingham tonight. Of course there was a tug of war between England and Scotland for his services last season.
Both countries have been courting the 6′ 3â€ striker since Carroll emerged at Newcastle last season. Andy was born in Gateshead but has some Scottish ancestry.
This will be Andy’s first game for the England Under-19 side who play Belarus tonight.
Andrew Carroll – plays tonight for the England Under-19 side against Belarus
In April, he was selected by the Scotland Under-19 match with Austria, a decision which prompted England boss Steve McClaren to rush to Newcastle in an attempt to claim him for England.
McClaren said at the time:
“Obviously he is still young and has a lot of developing to do. But, like Newcastle center-half Steve Taylor, I like his attitude and character.”
Carroll finally chose England, and today’s friendly game against Belarus at Notts County’s Meadow Lane ground will be his first wearing the England colors.
Former Newcastle Academy Coach Brian Eastick takes charge of England and Carroll has a good chance to be included in the side for the European Championship Qualifying Tournament next month. England face Iceland (Doncaster 12th Oct), Romania (Scunthorpe 14th Oct) and Belgium (Barnsley 17th Oct) as part of the run-up to the 2008 Finals in the Czech Republic.
Preston North End manager Paul Simpson told the Lancashire Evening Post yesterday:
“We are all chuffed for Andy that he has been called up,” “I’m just keeping my fingers crossed he comes back unscathed.â€
“He is an important part of our squad and we don’t want him to pick up an injury.â€ “International breaks are always a worry for club managers because when players are away with their countries they are out of your hands.â€
â€œThankfully, Andy is the only one away. Normally we have had a few players on duty, but this time that isn’t the case.”
The Lancashire Evening Post has a nice piece on Andy and it looks like Carroll is already a hit at Preston. He’s appeared 4 times for Preston this season with 2 starts. Last season he made 7 appearances for Newcastle but also played a number of pre-season games this season and looked rather impressive before moving on his 6 month loan to Preston.