Joe Expects to Keep Pair
Tuesday, 14th Jan 2003 16:45
Town boss Joe Royle says he doesn't expect to have any problems keeping Darren Ambrose and Darren Bent with Town during the World U20 Championship in March and April. Royle says that so far the FA have been very understanding on issues such as this one.
Earlier today the FA revealed that they would not be picking Everton's Wayne Rooney for the tournament. Were they involved in the UAE, Rooney and the Town youngsters would be forced to miss a number of club games.
Royle says that the FA made their statement regarding Rooney to avoid any row between Everton and themselves: “I think they've stepped in early to avoid any club v country issues.
“It's counter-productive anyway if the players are playing first team football at the time. That's enhancing their education more than going back into an age-group they've passed already. The FA are very aware of this and I've spoken a couple of times with Les Reed on this and he agrees. They are not being confrontational on this.
Royle is meeting with Reed, the FA's acting technical director, later this week partly regarding Ambrose and Bent: “I'm speaking with Les Reed on Friday, we're having lunch to discuss not just this issue but U20 football in general, something that was arranged some while ago. But that will come up in discussion.
The Blues manager says Town would certainly miss the pair, who he refers to as ‘The Twins', at what would be a critical stage of the season: “It's a crucial time of the season for us, we're chasing a play-off place hopefully quite hard at the moment.
“They've been important players for us. We've had this a couple of times already and the FA have been very amenable over it and Les Reed in particular couldn't have co-operated more, so I wouldn't anticipate a problem.”
Academy youngster Matt Bloomfield is one Town player who is likely to be involved in the tournament. Bloomfield was away with the U20 squad at a training camp last week at La Manga.
Photo: Action Images
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