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England call-ups for West Brom youngsters delighting academy manager Mark Harrison

Sport | Published:

Seven Albion youngsters have been picked for England youth squads to the delight of academy manager Mark Harrison.

Kane Wilson, Rekeem Harper, and Jamie Soule have all been taken to Portugal with England U17s to play in the Algarve Tournament.

Rayhaan Tulloch and Tom Solanke have joined up with England U16s at St George's Park for a competition involving Italy and Spain, while Morgan Rogers and Harry Williams are in the England U15 squad for a game with Belgium.

"I think it's a great reflection on everybody's work," said Harrison. "Its' the first time we've had three called up in one age group, we've always had a couple, but to have three is great.

"What pleases me is that it's one from each unit, one defender, one midfielder, one attacker.

"We have a bit of a reputation for developing attacking players, especially going into England groups.

"Look at Chris Wood, Kemar Roofe, Romaine Sawyers, Saido Berahino, we've generally got a reputation for attack-minded players.

"So it's good for us to see defenders and midfielders are getting picked."

Wilson, 16, is a full-back who has played for the first team in the League Cup this season, although he's playing centre-back for England, while Williams, 15, is also a defender.

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Harper is a box-to-box midfielder who was named on the first-team bench for the home match against Swansea in December.

Soule and Tulloch are strikers, Rogers is an attacking midfielder, and Solanke is a holding midfielder.

England U17s have played three games in Portugal. They lost 1-0 to the hosts in a game Soule started and Harper played 30 minutes in .

Then they beat Germany 3-2 on Sunday with Wilson playing an hour and Harper 40 minutes.

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Yesterday, Wilson and Harper both played the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Holland, and Soule came on at half-time.

"Kane's obviously well known now," said Harrison. "Although he's been playing centre-back for England, we see him as an athletic full-back who can get forward and deliver good crosses, he's very competitive and really fits the mould that Tony's looking for.

"Rekeem was a centre forward until 15 and then we moved him into central midfield because he's technically very good off both feet, he can manage the ball in tight areas and he can get box to box.

"He's very much in the mould of a Patrick Vieira, but obviously he's got a lot of work to do before he gets that good!

"Jamie Soule is a really good finisher, and has good movement. More modern day strikers like to receive the ball to feet, but he can get behind defences as well.

"It's gone out of the game over the last 10 to 15 years, so it's nice that we've got Jamie coming through with that skill."

Harrison oversees a team of 26 staff, including coaches, sport scientists, scouts, and drivers.

"There's a lot of people that do a lot of hard work in the academy behind the scenes," he said. "It's always a joint-effort. Even the drivers play an integral role. It's very much a team effort."

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