Hoping for the honour of home guard duty is York City's young lion-heart international Russ Howarth.

The City shot-stopper is keeping his fingers crossed for a starting role in England Under-18s friendly with Belgium at Bradford's Valley Parade tomorrow.

After successive England caps garnered on foreign shores, Howarth admitted he is desperate to play for his country on home soil.

And the fact tomorrow's international will be staged in Yorkshire has given the teenager, now capped at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level, added incentive.

"I played for England against Turkey in front of the Sky Television cameras at Leyton Orient," Howarth told thisisyork.

"We won 1-0 then but this is the closest to home I will have played and it is near enough for all my mates to go over.

"My parents have seen me play for England before but it will be great if some of my friends who I used to play football with can make it."

Howarth's place is by no means secure. Chelsea's rookie goalkeeper Rhys Evans is also included in the squad for tomorrow.

After England Under-18s success in the European Championships pre-qualifying tournament in Italy last month Evans looked to have emerged as number one choice.

While Howarth, who linked up with England on Sunday, kept a clean sheet in a 5-0 win over the Faroe Islands, Evans got the nod for the crucial deciding game with Italy.

England won that match 2-1 to go through to a two-legged play off game with Poland next year, with victory over the Poles guaranteeing young England a place in next summer's finals in Finland.

But despite the inclusion of Evans, Howarth remains confident he will be handed back the number one jersey at Valley Parade.

"Hopefully, I will play against Belgium," he said.

"There is another game before the two qualifiers against Poland so if I don't I'd like to think I will play in that.

"But with this being so close to home I would really like to play in this one.

"The game has been well-publicised so there should be a decent crowd, which is an added incentive."

* Tickets are priced £3 for adults, £3 for unaccompanied children and free for under-16s when accompanied by an adult.

The match is pay on the gate only and kicks-off at 7.45pm at Valley Parade.