Gunn’s boy Angus called up to England squad
Angus Gunn has been handed his first opportunity to follow his famous father into international football – with England.
The 14-year-old Norwich City academy prospect, son of former Scotland goalkeeper and ex-City manager Bryan Gunn, is one of two ’keepers named in the England Under-16 squad for next week’s opening Victory Shield match against Wales.
Head coach Kenny Swain has picked a squad of 18 for the game at Haverfordwest on Friday, October 15, to be screened live by Sky Sports (7.35pm).
Gunn’s inclusion represents further international recognition for the Canaries’ goalkeeping production line at Colney with Robert Green, Joe Lewis, Declan Rudd and Jed Steer among those who have progressed to the England ranks at different levels.
Gunn senior won six full caps for Scotland and was in the squad for the 1990 World Cup, but is delighted to see his offspring included in the Young Lions’ plans.
He said: “Angus was at the development squad session at the national football centre at Burton in the summer, but we only just found out last week that he was one of two goalkeepers picked in the Under-16 squad with West Bromwich Albion’s Jack Rose.
“We don’t know whether he will play. We hope he will play in one of the three games but even if he doesn’t it will be a great experience for him.
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“Angus is still only 14 at the moment so he’s got another year in this age group. He’s still fairly young and this is an opportunity we didn’t think would come along so soon.
“But he played under-16 football for Norwich last season at different times, so he has played at this age group.
“It is another feather in the cap of the Academy and a lot of praise belongs to Ricky Martin, the Academy manager, to Colin Watts, who spotted Angus as a goalkeeper when I always said he was a midfield player, and to Darran Lovell, the Academy goalkeeping coach.”
Gunn junior’s call-up means he must join the England training camp at Swansea next Tuesday, then it is a long family trip to Pembrokeshire for the game at Bridge Meadow Stadium.
“It’s nearly 400 miles from door to door but it’s an opportunity not to be missed and just for him to be involved in the squad we are very proud,” said his father.
Swain, the former Chelsea, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest player, has included another former star’s offspring in the under-16 squad – Diego Poyet, son of Gus Poyet, former Chelsea and Tottenham favourite and current Brighton manager.
England Under-16s play further Victory Shield matches against Northern Ireland in November and Scotland in December.
City Academy boss Martin said: “We feel we’ve got a competitive squad at under-16 level and Angus is an under-15 goalkeeper, so he’s already playing up an age group and doing similar to what Declan and Jed did when they were 16.
“It’s testament to what our goalkeeping coaches, Darran Lovell and Darren Plowman, put into the schoolboys. One thing we do at the club is try to push the goalkeepers on and they’re constantly training alongside the professionals from the age of 14. What we’re doing with Angus is no different to what we’ve done, even going back to Joe Lewis.”
Meanwhile, Steer’s progress further up the England chain continues with the 18-year-old’s inclusion in Noel Blake’s Under-19 squad travelling to Belgium for three European Championship qualifying matches in six days – against Albania, Cyprus and Belgium, the first of them on Friday.
“Jed is someone that week in week out continues to stand out and shine through the players and the competions that are on offer at the moment. We will need to look to help to develop and push him on in the future,” added Martin.
“England provides that opportunity to play at a slightly higher youth level and against more international calibre of teams – that will provide him with a stern test in the next week or so, and I’m sure England will progress to the league stages in the New Year.”