Zaha earns first U21s call-up
Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha has been called up to the England Under-21s squad for Wednesday's Euro 2013 Qualifier against Belgium.
Last Updated: 23/02/12 12:26pm
Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has been called up to the England Under-21s squad for Wednesday's Euro 2013 Qualifier against Belgium.
It is a first call-up at U21 level for the 19-year-old, who has been impressing in the Championship since his debut two years ago.
Hull City midfielder Cameron Stewart has also received a debut call-up for the game at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium.
And Boro stars Jason Steele and Joe Bennett have both been named in Brian Eastick's squad.
Eastick takes the reins for the top-of-the-table clash with Belgium due to Stuart Pearce and Steve Wigley taking temporary charge of the senior team for their game against Holland at Wembley.
And having been involved within the England set-up for many years, including leading England at last summer's FIFA U20 World Cup in Colombia, Eastick is confident continuity will be maintained.
"This opportunity is something I regard as a privilege, as I do whenever I have been head coach of any England team," said Eastick.
"Due to the environment that Stuart has developed within the U21s set-up, it will hopefully be a seamless transition for this game with continuity being maintained with regards to our principles of play.
"Stuart and I have had a good professional relationship having worked together closely during his five years at the FA.
"Last week I sat down with him to discuss the overall plans for this get-together and careful consideration has been given to the make-up of both the senior and U21s squads.
"There are a couple of new faces in the group, with Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha and Hull City's Cameron Stewart coming in for the first time. They both deserve their opportunities after some impressive performances at club level."
Eastick added: "This match is very important to us and one we would dearly like to win, particularly after the loss we suffered away in Belgium back in November.
"That gave Belgium a lifeline in the group and they are now just four points behind us. Therefore, the importance of this game cannot be underestimated if we are to reach our immediate aim of winning the group and going into the play-offs."
Squad: Ben Amos (Manchester United), Jack Butland (Birmingham), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough); Joe Bennett (Middlesbrough), Ryan Bennett (Norwich), Steven Caulker (Tottenham), Craig Dawson (West Brom), Martin Kelly (Liverpool), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Adam Smith (Tottenham); Gary Gardner (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Henri Lansbury (Arsenal), Jason Lowe (Blackburn), Josh McEachran (Chelsea), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Jonjo Shelvey (Liverpool), Cameron Stewart (Hull), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace); Nathan Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Will Keane (Manchester United), Marvin Sordell (Bolton), Connor Wickham (Sunderland).