Rookie goalkeeper Russell Howarth has an international feather in his cap.

International honour: City youngster Russell Howarth has been called into the England Under-16 squad.

The York City junior has been drafted into the England Under-16 squad, which today were tackling hosts Turkey in Izmir in an under-16 international friendly.

Howarth's call-up was confirmed after he came through national trials.

The 16-year-old, still in his first year of a three-year academy scholarship at City, is the only player with a Second Division club to make the squad.

And to net his number one place he fended off the challenge of a 'keeper from Premiership outfit Arsenal in the 29-strong squad, which is expected to return from Istanbul on Thursday night.

If he continues to impress than Howarth will be pushing for a place in the European championships' qualifiers in Cyprus in April.

Further on there are the World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand at the end of the year.

City's youth team coach Paul Stancliffe, who has earmarked the York-born custodian as a future prospect, was delighted for the teenager.

"It will be a great experience for Russell and it's tremendous news for the lad and for the club," he enthused.

"Russell has put in a lot of hard work in his first season and it shows that you can get recognition at a club like York City."Stancliffe added that Howarth's call-up was all the more impressive in that because he was a first-year trainee his chances of competitive duty had been limited.

"It's only since Andy Warrington has been injured from the first team that John Mohan has moved up to the reserves and Russell has come into the intermediates," said Stancliffe.

"He has only started three full games for us, apart from pre-season, so it shows what an impact he must have made."

The 'keeper's parents Michael and Lyn Howarth, who live in Riccall, are thrilled by the news.

Said the proud father: "It's an excellent start to the new year for us.

"Hopefully these trials will put him on the way to becoming a professional which is his main aim for now."

A former Barlby High School pupil, Howarth junior starred for Olympia Station FC as well as representing York and District Schools at the age of 12.

No mean outfield player, in one season he notched 29 goals as a left-sided midfielder. But opting again to return to gloves-duty he impressed no less than ex-City player and then Huntington School teacher Alan Whitehead, who was running the York and District side.

Howarth went on to county and North-East honours before England trials. He was on schoolboy forms for two years at Bootham Crescent before last summer becoming one of the first intake on City's new three-year academy scheme.

England under-16 squad: Rhys Evans (Chelsea), Russell Howarth (YORK CITY), Peter Crookes (Liverpool), Jonathan Bewers (Aston Villa), Peter Clarke (Everton), Stuart Parnaby (Middlesbrough), Neil Jenkins (Wimbledon), Matthew Hamshaw (Sheffield Wednesday), Michael Rose (Manchester United), Leon Britton (Arsenal), James Davis (Manchester United), Rory Fallon (Barnsley), Daniel Nardiello (Manchester United), Frazier Richardson (Leeds United), Chris O'Brien (Liverpool), Joleon Lescott (Wolves), Joseph Keenan (Chelsea), Jermaine Defoe (Charlton), David Noble (Arsenal), Jamie McMaster (Leeds United), Gareth McGhie (Sunderland), Jay Boothroyd (Arsenal), Leon Knight (Chelsea), Jonathan Mann (Newcastle), Alex Tapp (Wimbledon), Marek Szmid (Manchester United), Matthew Davies (Southampton), Craig Coates (Manchester United), Nicholas Chadwick (Everton). Head coach Dick Bate; coach Kenny Swain.

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