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Noble gets the nod

Filed: Thursday, 10th May 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel

Mark Noble has been called up to the provisional England under-21 squad for the first time.

The United midfielder - 20 earlier this week - celebrated his birthday with his first ever call-up for Stuart Pearce's young Lions.

Pearce has named an initial squad of 30 that will be whittled down to 23 in time for the UEFA European under-21 Championships, which take place in Holland next month.

The under-21s face Slovakia in a friendly at Carrow Road on Tuesday, 5th June. You can purchase tickets for the game from the ticket hotline on 0870 444 1902.

Noble - who has been in excellent form for his club side since replacing Nigel Quashie in March - is joined in the squad by Anton Ferdinand (16 caps) and captain Nigel Reo-Coker (18 caps).

* 19-year-old Hogan Ephraim - who has spent much of the season on loan with Championship side Colchester United - has been named in the England squad for next week's crucial UEFA European Under-19 Championship Elite Qualifying Round.

Provisional England under-21 squad

Goalkeepers: Ben Alnwick (Tottenham), Lee Camp (Derby), Scott Carson (Liverpool), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Wigan), Gary Cahill (Aston Villa), Anton Ferdinand (West Ham), Justin Hoyte (Arsenal), Matt Kilgallon (Sheffield United), Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City), Liam Ridgewell (Aston Villa), Liam Rosenior (Fulham), Steven Taylor (Newcastle), Peter Whittingham (Cardiff)

Midfielders: David Bentley (Blackburn), Lee Cattermole (Middlesbrough), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Michael Johnson (Manchester City), James Milner (Newcastle), Mark Noble (West Ham), Nigel Reo-Coker (West Ham), Kieran Richardson (Manchester United), Wayne Routledge (Tottenham).

Strikers: Gabriel Agbonlahor (Astone Villa), Matt Derbyshire (Blackburn), Cameron Jerome (Birmingham), Leroy Lita (Reading), David Nugent (Preston), James Vaughan (Everton), Ashley Young (Aston Villa).

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