York Futsal head coach Junior Roberti has praised wingers Josh Devine and Matthew Barber as a “different class” following their call-ups to England’s Under-19 squad for the upcoming Futsal Euro Preliminary Round later this month.

The highly-rated duo have been selected as part of a 12-man squad for the third edition of the tournament between January 18-21, which has seen England drawn against hosts Lithuania, Malta, and Estonia.

“This is the first time that Futsal is back for England since Covid and we’re back with two players in the squad, which is amazing for us,” Roberti enthused.

“(Devine and Barber) are a different class. 

“They’re clever, very fast, and very technical, but tactically they are very intelligent.

“ They are very good players and I think that they knew the time would come sooner rather than later.

“Their game intelligence is outstanding - it’s above the average and above much older players that we have here.

“They know what they’re doing and have all the technical and physical attributes to perform the best that they can.”

England will begin their campaign against Malta on January, 18 (2:30pm UK time), before taking on Estonia (January 19, 2:30pm UK time) and Lithuania (January 21, 5:30pm UK time).

With both Devine and Barber expected to feature throughout, Roberti hopes that they can build on their experience in the international set-up upon their return, adding:
“This is just the beginning for them, and everything starts from now.

“I think that it will change them - not completely as they’ve always been very focused - but I think that it will give them an amazing boost in their commitment and motivation. 
 “Now they need to not only protect their place, but push for the senior squad.”

York will host England U19 in a friendly next week before returning to action with a tough challenge against National Futsal League side Liverpool at the Yorksport Arena on Sunday, January 22 (4:45pm).