Rudd faces club or country tug-of-war

Chris Lakey Norwich City could be heading for a battle with the FA over young Canaries keeper Declan Rudd. The teenager is wanted by the England set-up for the Under-19 Championships in France, which run from July 18-30.

Chris Lakey

Norwich City could be heading for a battle with the FA over young Canaries keeper Declan Rudd.

The teenager is wanted by the England set-up for the Under-19 Championships in France, which run from July 18-30.

But Canaries boss Paul Lambert needs Rudd to be available for City's pre-season build-up when he is expected to cement his place as back-up to whoever Lambert brings in to fill the number one shirt.


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The FA's director of football development, Trevor Brooking, believes it is “an issue” that needs to be resolved.

Brooking named Rudd, Blackburn defender Phil Jones and Aston Villa's Nathan Delfouneso as players who could be torn between club and country.

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“There are about five players we might have issues with,” he said. “Their clubs want them for non-competitive pre-season trips when they might not even play.

“They will never get that tournament experience against quality opposition again, which would be invaluable. They would even go back to their clubs fit.”

While Brooking's assertions carry an element of truth, for Lambert there is a different issue. There is no word yet on whether Fraser Forster will come back from Newcastle for another loan spell at Carrow Road following his contribution to the League One title success - and that means Rudd is currently the most senior keeper on the books.

Brooking's concerns are part of a wider debate over his pessimistic forecast of a bleak period on the international front, with the former England international concerned at a lack of depth below senior level.

England's Under-17s won the European Championships this summer, but they are not immediate replacements for the players who are currently in South Africa.

“There is not the obvious quality to replace what we already have unless we can fast-track some of these younger ones, which is asking a lot,” he said. “You do have cycles. You only have to look at France, who need some fresh blood from somewhere and Germany, who four years ago were really worried.

“I have never hidden the fact that I didn't think we had the depth - and we will have to wait five years for those Under-17s to come through.”

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