McDonald looking to impress England coaches ahead of International Challenge Trophy (From Braintree and Witham Times)
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McDonald looking to impress England coaches ahead of International Challenge Trophy
Braintree Town goalkeeper Nathan McDonald said it is a huge honour to be given another opportunity to represent his country.
The Iron shotstopper has been named in the England C team to face Latvia’s Under-23 side in the Baltic on September 10.
The England C team is made up soley of under-23 players operating outside the Football League and his latest call-up is McDonald’s second after his debut performance when he came on as a late substitute in their 4-0 defeat by Russia in Moscow in the International Challenge Trophy (ICT) in 2012.
With another ICT campaign coming up next year, the 22-year-old Iron keeper sees his latest selection as a chance to impress England’s coaches and claim a place in manager Paul Fairclough’s Trophy plans.
McDonald said: “I didn’t start the season last year for Braintree, but I came back into the side and I feel I’ve come back fitter and sharper for the start of this season.
“Preston (Edwards) and Hedgey (Jonathan Hedge) have been the keepers called-up over the last couple of years, but I knew they were too old to play for England C now and the coaches would be looking at all the new keepers coming through.
“I think I’ve been playing well and it looks like it has shown.
“So I was very happy to see my name.
“There’s nothing better than playing for England, it’s what you play the game for.
“They’ll obviously be using the game as a basis for selecting the ICT squad, so I’ll hope to do well as it would be great to get the number one position for the tournament.”
The other keeper in the squad to face Latvia is Dover Athletic’s Mitchell Walker, who was involved in the England C side that won 6-1 against Bermuda in June.
Fairclough said the Latvia game is the start of his selection proceedure ahead of the ICT opener against Slovakia next year.
He said: “While it does appear to be a long wait until the Slovakia match, this does give me the opportunity to look at a number of new faces and I will be taking 12 new players to Latvia.
“We also have a home friendly in November against the Czech Republic Under-21 side, which will be another tough test.
“By the time we get to the March friendly I will have a good idea of who will form the basis of the squad going into what will be three very competitive ICT matches.”
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