An international call to arms beckons once again for teenage shot-stopper Russ Howarth.

The York City youngster has been drafted into the England Under-17s squad to face Luxembourg a week on Thursday in Dudelange.

And in an extra feather in the cap for both club and footballer, Howarth is one of only two players from outside the Premiership or Division One and the only player from Division Three to figure in the 18-man squad.

The latest call-up caps a memorable 18 months for the young goalkeeper.

In the middle of last season he was capped twice by England Under-16s, making his debut in a 2-0 win over Turkey.

Still only 17 at the start of this season, he was handed the number one jersey by then City chief Neil Thompson and played a starring role in York's opening six games.

His form attracted the interest of Manchester United, who ironically snapped up one of his Bootham Crescent predecessors, Nick Culkin, in 1995.

But with Everton, West Ham United and Chelsea also known to be admirers, the rock-steady rookie pledged his allegiance to the Minstermen by signing a three-year deal back in August.

His latest international recognition had come as a big surprise confessed Howarth, 18, who featured for City reserves last night against Scunthorpe.

"I wasn't expecting it at all. To be honest with you, I didn't even know there was an Under-17 squad," Howarth told the Evening Press.

"I thought after playing for the reserves last night that games-wise that would be it for the season, so this is a real lift and is absolutely brilliant news."

Such has been Howarth's rise to prominence, the Riccall-based 'keeper would still be on second year scholarship terms but for City moving quickly to tie-him to a longer deal.

"It has been an unbelievable couple of years when you consider 18 months ago I wasn't even a regular in the youth team here.

"It's been a case of being in the right place at the right time, having a bit of luck and a lot of hard work."

After serving as number two to Bobby Mimms for much of the current campaign, Howarth returned to the senior side for his one and only start this year when he celebrated a clean sheet in the scoreless stalemate with Exeter.

The arrival of Northern Ireland international Alan Fettis from Blackburn Rovers saw Howarth relegated to number two again.

However, he is currently being put through his paces by his former boyhood idol, Neville Southall, who is working as the Minstermen's goalkeeping coach on a part-time consultancy basis.

Howarth, who graduated through City's centre of excellence programme, will link-up with his England team mates on Sunday.

Throughout his week with England Howarth will be coached by former Manchester City and Crystal Palace 'keeper Perry Suckling.

Former England legend Stuart Pearce and ex-Middlesbrough defender Nigel Pearson will also share coaching duties under head coach Martin Hunter.

Squad: Rhys Evans (Chelsea), Russ Howarth (York City), John Halls (Arsenal), Joleon Lescott (Wolves), Neil Jenkins (Wimbledon), Stuart Parnaby (Middlesbrough), Peter Clarke (Everton), Rowan Ricketts (Arsenal), Mark Richards (Blackburn Rovers), Jimmy Davis (Manchester United), Richard Logan (Ipswich Town), Leon Knight (Chelsea), Matthew Hampshaw (Sheff Wednesday), Marrik Smizd (Manchester United), David Noble (Arsenal), Jay Bothroyd (Arsenal), Jonathan Bewers (Aston Villa), Kevin Amankwash (Bristol City).

York City reserves fought back from a two goal deficit to beat Scunthorpe United 4-2 at Bootham Crescent last night.

A Craig Skinner goal reduced the arrears just before half-time for the Minstermen's second string before James Turley restored parity five minutes into the second half with a header.

Transfer-listed Skinner then bagged his second goal of the game to push City in front before victory was made certain by a Paul Talbot effort.

The match was the reserves' final game of their Pontin's League Division One campaign and the victory should ensure a mid-table finish, depending on other results.