Luton's teenage defender is named in England U17s World Cup squad

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Johnson heads out to Indonesia for prestigious tournament

Luton academy graduate Joe Johnson has been called up to represent England at the upcoming FIFA U17 World Cup in Indonesia.

The Young Lions’ head coach Ryan Garry named his 21-man squad this morning, who are looking to emulate current senior internationals such as Phil Foden and Marc Guéhi, as they lifted the trophy in 2017 under the tutelage of Nottingham Forest boss Steve Cooper.

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England begin their campaign with a Group C fixture against New Caledonia on Saturday, November 11, before taking on Iran on Tuesday, November 14.

The group stages are then completed with a game against holders Brazil; with all three matches taking place at the 82,000 capacity Jakarta International Stadium.

Johnson, who played in a pre-tournament competition out in Marbella recently, becomes only the second ever Luton player to represent England at a World Cup competition, the other being Syd Owen in 1954, when he played in the 4-4 draw against Belgium.

Speaking to the Hatters’ official website, boss Rob Edwards, who praised the club’s academy for their work in bringing through the left-footed defender, said: “I’m delighted for Joe, we all are at the club.

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"His hard work has been recognised by England and we are really proud of him as a football club.

Joe Johnson will be part of the England U17s World Cup squad - pic: Liam SmithJoe Johnson will be part of the England U17s World Cup squad - pic: Liam Smith
Joe Johnson will be part of the England U17s World Cup squad - pic: Liam Smith

“It will be a great experience for him and something that will be really valuable for his future.

"These are moments that you have got to go and grasp and try to learn as much as possible.

“With the national team now, you look at the number of players who have been on that journey through the age groups and are now playing for the seniors, and of course that will be Joe’s aim long-term.

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“There’s a long way to go before then, but it’s great recognition for all the hard work he’s putting in and we wish him and the whole team well out there.

“We look forward to him coming back safely, and with a medal around his neck as well.”

The top two from each group and four best third-placed teams progress to the round of 16 that starts on November 20, with the final held at the Manahan Stadium in Surakarta on Sunday, December 2.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Ted Curd (Hashtag United, loan from Chelsea), Finlay Herrick (West Ham United), Tommy Setford (Ajax).

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Defenders: Josh Acheampong (Chelsea), Joe Johnson (Luton Town), Jayden Meghoma (Southampton), Harrison Murray-Campbell (Chelsea), Lakyle Samuel (Manchester City), Ishé Samuels Smith (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Samuel Amo-Ameyaw (Southampton), Michael Golding (Chelsea), Myles Lewis-Skelly (Arsenal), Finley McAllister (Manchester United), Chris Rigg (Sunderland), Reiss-Alexander Russell-Denny (Chelsea).

Forwards: Tyler Dibling (Southampton), Joel Ndala (Manchester City), Ethan Nwaneri (Arsenal), Justin Oboavwoduo (Manchester City), Archie Stevens (Glasgow Rangers), Matty Warhurst (Manchester City).