FC United starlet Scott Cheetham has spoken of his shock after becoming the first player to win an England call-up in the club’s history.
The 18-year-old Openshaw youngster has been selected in the 18-man England Schoolboys squad after impressing during trials at the FA’s school of excellence at Lilleshall.
The young attacking midfielder will now be in line for selection for England’s four Centenary Shield matches against Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland in March and April.
Cheetham said: "I thought I’d done well down at the trials but I was still surprised to get the call and it’s a great honour for me.
"The club’s been fantastic and really helped me with my development, in particular the under-18s manager Chuck Akuneto who has supported me and helped me improve as a player.
"I’m excited about getting the chance to pull on the England shirt but I’m not going to get carried away and want to carry on what I’m doing here at FC United and hopefully get myself into the first-team on a regular basis."
The former Wright Robinson pupil, who has made two appearances for the Rebels senior side, could be called into England action as early as January 30 when Andy Williams’ men face a warm-up game against Loughborough University.
FC United manager Karl Marginson hopes the fledgling star will become the first of many youngsters winning international honours at the club.
He said: "It was always something we aspired to when we set up the youth system as it benefits the players, the club and the wider community as well.
"Scott reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age and I think he has the potential to go on and play at a higher level. But also as a club we are looking to grow, and if players like Scott stay with us and reach that higher standard playing for FC United then it works all-round."
Cheetham is one of several players who have arrived at FC United through the club’s partnership with the Manchester College, where he is studying for an NVQ in exercise and fitness.