Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Starlets' Delight at England Calls; Trio to Play at Gallowgate against Auld Enemy SCHOOLS FOOTBALL SPECIAL

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Starlets' Delight at England Calls; Trio to Play at Gallowgate against Auld Enemy SCHOOLS FOOTBALL SPECIAL

Article excerpt

Byline: JAK PENNY

THREE of the North East's most promising young footballers have been handed the chance of a lifetime to represent their country - and play at the Sports Direct Arena.

Northumberland pair Kyle Downey and Peter Ravenhill and Gateshead's Michael Sweet have won call-ups to the England squad to play old enemy Scotland in the Under-18 Schools Centenary Shield International - to be staged at Newcastle United's ground in April.

Downey, 17, who attends Ashington High School, spoke of his delight at being selected and believes playing for England could spur him on to greater things.

He said: "It was really great, fantastic even. It is a magnificent feeling and I am chuffed to bits.

"It could really help me get where I want with the training they provide, the kit and everything.

"There are always scouts watching the games and there is the chance I could be picked up by a professional club and that will help me get to where I want to be in the game."

The midfielder also admitted it is a 'dream come true' to play at St James' Park and, while there are nerves ahead of the game, he is not intimidated about playing in front of a crowd - having done so before at Loftus Road and for Whitley Bay.

Downey added: "Being a fan myself it is like a dream come true to play at the Sports Direct Arena.

"Words could not even describe it if I was to score a goal. It would mean the world to me.

"Everything I have done since I was four years old, to get to this stage, will have paid off.

"The nerves just keep building up now and I just need to get everything like my preparation and organisation spot on and just try my best.

"I have played at Lincoln City and QPR's ground before and there were about 7,000 fans on that occasion.

"I play for Whitley Bay as well so there are always around 600 people every week.

"That will help me cope with the pressure."

Downey and Ravenhill will be joined in the squad by Gateshead College student Sweet. …

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