Alex Tettey joins Norwich City’s international contingent with Norway call-up
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Norwich City midfielder Alex Tettey yesterday swelled the Canaries’ growing international contingent with a recall for Norway’s friendly next month against Ukraine in Spain.
Tettey has been drafted into Egil Olsen’s squad for the game in Seville on February 6 when he will aim to add to 14 senior caps in a World Cup qualifying tune-up.
Tettey’s clubmates Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington were earlier this week included in Giovanni Trapattoni’s Republic of Ireland squad for a Dublin friendly against Poland on the same night.
Pilkington, who qualifies through his Irish grandmother, is one of five new faces in the Irish set-up after previously earning one U21 cap and Trapattoni has likened the 24-year-old to Irish stalwart Damien Duff in his adaptability to operate on either flank.
“He’s a very good player,” said the Italian. “He shows a lot of potential, he’s someone who we are very interested in. We’ve been following him for a long time, we’re obviously without Damien Duff and he’s the sort of player who has the ability to play both left and right. He’s well known for his goalscoring ability and that will certainly add something, but it’s not just that. Technically, he’s very good and tactically, he’s extremely aware on the pitch and is very good as well. That’s something we will look forward to having in the squad. He’s made it very clear that he’s ready to play for Ireland and that’s very positive for the country and for him and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
Trapattoni has opted for an experimental squad with Pilkington joined by West Ham keeper Stephen Henderson and Derby trio Richard Keogh, Jeff Hendrick and Conor Sammon as fellow first timers.
“We saw the young players playing very well many times and I’ve always talked about maintaining that balance, making sure that there is progression,” said Trapattoni. “I’ve thought about this a lot and had a good look at them to see what they could add, how we would benefit from their introduction to the team and I feel that they can come into the team and not upset the balance, particularly the three outfield players.
“I ask Pilkington to play left or right and Sammon to play striker. I couldn’t change their position. I think they can give us their potential. It’s very important. If they give us only this, their quality. Probably, these two or three I think they can start this game because it will be for them a good test.”
A number of Norwich’s younger talents will also be on international duty early next month with newly-signed professionals Josh and Jacob Murphy in Noel Blake’s England U19 squad for their clash with Denmark on February 5 at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium.
Academy prospect Kyle Callan-McFadden has also been called-up by Republic of Ireland U19 manager Paul Doolin for their clash with the Czech Republic in Longford on February 5.