From Pitmen to England U-21 call at Molineux

Former Hednesford Town and AFC Telford United goalkeeping prospect Josef Bursik has been handed another call-up to the England under-21 squad.

Joe Cuff makes contact with keeper Josef Bursik..
Joe Cuff makes contact with keeper Josef Bursik..

Bursik, 20, is highly thought of at parent club Stoke City and is currently No.1 between the sticks on loan at Darren Moore’s Doncaster in League One.

He spent part of the 2018/19 season on loan at Keys Park, sampling a first experience of senior football with the Pitmen, before stepping up a level to National League North AFC Telford later that season.

Bursik has been capped at all England age groups but is yet to win a cap for the under-21s, where he is joined in the squad by Sheffield United’s Aaron Ramsdale and Tottenham’s Brandon Austin.

The London-born shot-stopper was picked up by the Potters in 2017 and recently penned a new deal, fending off interest from the likes of Celtic and Everton.

He is named in Aidy Boothroyd’s already-qualified Young Lions squad for Euro 2021 qualifiers against Andorra and Albania at Molineux this month.

Bursik is joined in the squad by Albion on-loan midfielder Conor Gallagher, who has five caps for the under-21s.

Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala, who is just 17, has been handed his first England call-up at that age group.

Derby defender Lee Buchanan is also in the squad for the first time with Boothroyd ready to experiment having already qualified for next year’s tournament.

“Jamal has been doing really well at Bayern Munich, getting a couple of starts and making a number of cameo appearances and when you’re involved in a team of Bayern Munich’s quality you have to take notice of that,” he said.

“When it comes around to March we’ll be in a different place, some players will be in form, others out of form and some players who’ve found themselves out of the squad, will find themselves in the squad because of their form for their club team.”

Musiala came through Chelsea’s academy before moving to Germany in 2019 and has been previously capped at under-16 and under-17 level.

England host Andorra on November 13 and Albania on November 17 having already qualified for next month’s tournament in Hungary and Slovenia.

England U-21 squad: Austin (Tottenham), Bursik (Stoke, on loan at Doncaster), Ramsdale (Sheffield United), Aarons (Norwich), Buchanan (Derby), Guehi (Chelsea, on loan at Swansea), Justin (Leicester), Kelly (Bournemouth), Lamptey (Brighton), Panzo (Dijon), Williams (Liverpool), Wilmot (Watford), Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Dasilva (Brentford), Eze (Crystal Palace), Gallagher (Chelsea on loan at West From), Jones (Liverpool), Skipp (Tottenham, on loan at Norwich), Brewster (Sheffield United), Hudson-Odoi (Chelsea), McNeil (Burnley), Musiala (Bayern Munich), Nketiah (Arsenal), Sessegnon (Tottenham on loan at Hoffenheim)

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