GOALKEEPING great Neville Southall has hailed Bootham Crescent's international savers and backed York City number one Alan Fettis for an international recall.

Southall, the former Welsh and Everton legend now puts both Fettis and his understudy, Russ Howarth, through their paces as York's part-time goalkeeping coach.

The 42-year-old, arguably the world's greatest 'keeper during the 1980s and early 1990s, is convinced Fettis is good enough to be plying his trade in the Premiership.

And he is predicting a bright future for England Under-18 international Howarth, who ironically names Southall as his boyhood hero.

"Russ can be as good as he wants to be," Southall told the Evening Press.

"He works hard and has a great attitude when a lot of youngsters today at big clubs don't have such a good attitude.

"He will succeed. Even if it is in three, five or even ten years, he will succeed.

"And he has got a great role model in Alan Fettis. If he copies Alan he won't go far wrong."

Fettis has made no secret of his desire to add to his 25 international caps for Northern Ireland.

But apart from a late squad call-up for a friendly against Hungary at the end of last season, manager Sammy McIlroy has always plumped for Fulham's Maik Taylor and Wigan's Roy Carroll as his top two.

McIlroy also called up Manchester City veteran Tommy Wright ahead of Fettis for Northern Ireland's last World Cup qualifier against Iceland.

But, according to Southall, Fettis should be in the international set-up and were it not for British football's current trend for all things foreign then he is convinced Fettis would also be playing for a top flight club.

"Alan should be in the Northern Ireland squad.

"I think he has done a good job for York and he will continue to do so," insisted Southall.

"I look at other goalkeepers and I look at him and there is nothing to choose between them.