Arsenal reserve player trains with England just to make up the numbers

Ollie Irish

14th, November 2006

Connoly England manager Steve McClaren was forced to call upon an inexperienced Arsenal youngster yesterday just to get enough players for a nine-a-side match. After a spate of withdrawals from his original 28-man squad, McClaren turned to 19-year-old Academy player Matthew Connolly (pictured) as the England set-up descended into farce.

The centre-back joined the England squad for the practice match at Arsenal’s Colney training ground.There was at least one familiar face in the squad for Connolly. He played for England Under 19s with Micah Richards before the Manchester City player’s meteoric rise to the senior squad. Richards is now expected to start against Holland following the barrage of sicknotes.

[Rob Parker]

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