Welcome to a new section on the site, dedicated to the England ‘C’ team. You may or may not be aware of such an entity, but the England C team was formed in 1979, and represents the semi-professional and non-league sections of the game. For players to be eligible, they have to be 23 or under at the start of the season, i.e. if a player turns 24 during the season, he is still eligible as he was 23 at the start of the season.
They are currently managed by ex-Barnet manager Paul Fairclough, who took over in 2003. As you can imagine, with the restrictions regarding age and the non-league only representation, there is a high turnover of players in the squad, but it can be a springboard for players in their careers, with many going on to enjoy careers in the Football League. Notable former England C internationals include ex-Arsenal legend Alan Smith, Craig Mackail-Smith and Norwich City striker Steve Morison. David Stockdale, the current Fulham goalkeeper, has also worn the semi-pro Three Lions shirt.
There are not many ‘C’ internationals in a season, with Fairclough only overseeing two matches so far this season. There is one match left in 2011-12, against Russia in Moscow. Fairclough has named his squad, which can be found on the FA website, and has included eight new faces for the trip.
The team play their matches at various Football League and non-league grounds, so if they do roll up at a ground near you, get down and show your support.