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Josh Hart England Call Up

Mosslands student Josh Hart is chosen as the England Under 18's number one goalkeeper.

Full story from the Liverpool Echo

Josh Hart showing off his 'safe hands'The identity of England’s first choice goalkeeper for the World Cup remains in doubt.

Manager Fabio Capello has a short list of five or six, who are still hoping to board the plane to South Africa.

In stark contrast, the selectors for the England Under-18 Schools side have no such problems.

They have named three keepers in a squad of 19 and chosen the number one. He is a 16-year-old sixth former from Mosslands High School, who has the physical credentials to go right to the top.

At 6ft 5in tall and 14-and-a-half stone in weight, Josh Hart already has the frame of a top league goalkeeper.

To secure the spot, the talented teenager advanced through English trial games at Blackpool, Aston Villa and Lilleshall to beat around 40 others, most of whom are on a YTS with pro clubs, to this most coveted position.

“It was a really tough process and the quality was very high,” the Wallasey shot-stopper told Junior XSport.

“I was delighted to come through and just be in the squad. But then to be told I would be number one was a real surprise.”

Not that his career to date has been all plain sailing.

Josh has been plagued by injuries, some very serious, which have hampered his progress.

On the plus side, he has had the benefit of working with some top class coaches.

“I began at Tranmere when I was 11 under John Achterberg,” he recalled fondly.

“I moved to Liverpool, with Billy Stewart, but I broke my back.

“When I recovered I went to Manchester United, where I trained with the first team.

“Edwin van der Sar was really helpful and gave me a lot of tips. When Darren Ferguson got the job at Peterborough he took me there and I was due to make my first team debut against Fulham, but once again injury intervened.

“Darren is now at Preston and I think my next move will be to Deepdale. Currently I am playing for New Brighton. I think the problem with my injuries was that I grew too quickly for my age.”

ŠThe youngster reckons his skill as a shot-stopper, and after a lot of hard work, his ability to deal with crosses, are his best attributes in the last line of defence.

He is also well aware that he must work hard if he is to fulfil his ambition to become a footballer.

“I think it would be a good life to be a professional and well paid.

“I think I would enjoy it. However, I realise there is a long way to go before I reach that standard.”

England Schools assistant manager Andy Williams, the headteacher at Moorfield Primary School in Widnes said: “Josh will be making his debut against Gibraltar on the team’s tour to Malaga during half-term.

“He more than deserves his opportunity at this level. He has impressed with his performances right the way throughout the trial process. He has good agility for such a towering figure and has consistently produced high quality performances.”

Later, the team will be in action in the Centenary Shield against Northern Ireland and Wales, before going to the USA.

They finish with home games against Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, both games to be featured on Sky TV.


Watch a video of Josh showing off his skills for a Liverpool Echo photoshoot.