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Saturday, 30 August 2014

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Carlisle Utd can help me fulfil England dream - Potts

Brunton babe Brad Potts hopes a starring role for Carlisle United will secure him a place in the England Under-19 side for next year’s European Championships in Lithuania.

Brad Potts photo
Brad Potts

Potts became the first Carlisle player since Paul Reid in 2000 to win an England Under-19 cap when he made his international debut in Tuesday’s 1-0 friendly win over Finland in Telford.

The 18-year-old midfielder, who hopes to keep his place in the Blues side to face Leyton Orient tomorrow, was one of only three players in the England squad not on the books of Premier League or Championship clubs. Potts was rejected by both North East giants Newcastle United and Sunderland, and is determined to repay Carlisle’s faith for giving him his big chance.

The Haltwhistle youngster has emerged as one of the country’s brightest talents and playing well for Carlisle could see him take on Europe’s best teenagers in next summer’s tournament.

England Under-19s have friendlies against Denmark and Turkey next year, before Noel Blake’s side faces qualifying matches ahead of the European Championships in Lithuania.

“I just want to keep going and keep pushing on this season and see what happens,” said Potts.

“It has been a big season for me, getting my Carlisle debut and playing a few games and then getting an England Under-19 call-up. It was an honour playing for my country and I was really happy to start the game. Hopefully I can keep on playing for Carlisle and get selected for future squads.

“I need to keep playing for Carlisle week in, week out and hopefully do well, as Noel Blake watches games. He saw me at Walsall and Preston and was quite impressed and rang the gaffer and things went from there.”

Potts was told in training on Monday that he was going to start Tuesday’s game, and he nearly set up a goal with a dangerous header into the box just before half-time.

His parents Sharon and Howard and sister Molly, 15, cheered him on at Telford.

“I didn’t think I would be starting but I knew I would be happy just to get on the pitch for a spell,” said Potts. “I think the manager wanted to have a look at me and see what I was like. I played the first half and thought I played alright and the manager Noel Blake said ‘well done’ afterwards and said he was happy with me.

“I was quite nervous but once the game got underway I felt alright, especially when I got my first touch of the ball.

“It was great having my family there and a few of my dad’s mates went and my uncle. They were all getting photos when I was on the pitch so they were really proud.”

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