Fleetwood Town’s current first choice shot-stopper Alex Cairns tipped potential future number one Billy Crellin for a bright future after the homegrown hero made his England debut.
Crellin, 17, is from Fleetwood and made his international bow off the bench in England Under-18s’ 2-1 friendly defeat to South Africa at Leek Town on Monday night.
Crellin became the first player in the club’s history to represent England at youth level.
The keeper travels with the first team to help Cairns and substitute stopper Chris Neal warm-up, and first-choiced Cairns is looking forward to seeing Crellin’s progression continue.
He said: “I’m buzzing for Billy. He deserves a lot in the game. Just starting off now, he has bags of ability and I’m really looking forward to seeing him progress as a goalkeeper.”
Development squad attacker Dan Mooney, 18, was also on youth international duty, representing Wales U19s against Iceland in Rhyl in an international friendly.
And Town chief Eeecutive Steve Curwood hopes more academy prospects will follow their lead.
Curwood said: “This is a fantastic personal achievement for them both.
“To get international recognition at any level is fantastic and hopefully there will be many more call-ups for the two.
“It sets the benchmark for others within the academy structure.
“Billy and Dan’s call-ups for England and Wales mean the club has now had call-ups for all of the home nations at youth level, which is another example of the importance of the club putting the emphasis on youth development.”
And Curwood says Crellin’s recognition has extra sentimental value as he is a local lad.
He added: “This has an extra element with Billy being one of our own. He started at Fleetwood Town Juniors at the age of eight and we look forward to seeing his development continue with us.”