A debut, a first start and a crucial Euro qualifying goal amongst the headlines during our March international action.
- International Update: Seven Latics players involved in March fixtures.
- Lee Evans earned his first start for Wales, whilst Reece James trained with the England senior team.
- Joe Gelhardt scored a vital goal in England's U17 Euro qualifiers and Bobby Jones made his Republic of Ireland debut for the Under 18s.
Seven players across our first team and Academy continued their international careers over the past fortnight, with England duo Joe Gelhardt and Jensen Weir helping the Under 17s to seal a place at this year’s UEFA U17 European Championships in Ireland.
Midfielder Lee Evans earned his fourth cap for Wales during this month’s international fixtures, making his first senior national team start in a 1-0 victory against Trinidad & Tobago last Wednesday.
Ben Woodburn grabbed the crucial goal late on, with Evans completing the full 90 minutes.
The 24-year-old wasn’t involved in Wales’ second fixture, a 1-0 win against Slovakia at the Cardiff City Stadium, as Swansea City’s Daniel James netted the winner early on to get Ryan Giggs’ side off to the perfect start in their 2020 UEFA European Championship qualifying campaign.
Chelsea loanee Reece James featured as a second half substitute in England Under 20s’ 3-1 defeat to Poland in their first of two fixtures this month. The full back was introduced with England already 2-0 down.
In between matches, James trained with Gareth Southgate's senior squad ahead of their trip to Montenegro.
On the day of the announcement of his inclusion in the EFL Football Manager Team of the Season for the Sky Bet Championship, James featured for the full 90 minutes in England’s narrow 1-0 defeat away to Portugal.
Back on the international scene for the first time since his injury on duty with the senior side in November, Antonee Robinson featured in both of the USA’s Under 23 friendlies.
The full back on loan from Everton was a second half substitute in a 2-0 defeat to Egypt, before starting and completing 60 minutes of USA’s second match, a 0-0 draw against Netherlands.
After missing out on Republic of Ireland’s first fixture, a 4-0 defeat to Turkey, goalkeeper Bobby Jones stepped in for his Under 18 debut in the second, again a clash with Turkey, but with much improvement to earn a 0-0 draw.
Jones, who is a first year apprentice at Latics, featured for 30 minutes to become Latics’ seventh active youth international in the club’s Under 18 squad.
JOE GELHARDT & JENSEN WEIR
Latics’ Young Lions helped England’s Under 17s to the 2019 UEFA U17 European Championship finals in Ireland in May thanks to their performances in the Elite Round qualifying stage this month.
Midfielder Weir started and played the full 90 minutes of the opening game, a 5-2 victory against Switzerland, before a 76-minute stint in a 0-0 draw against Croatia and forward Gelhardt was a second half substitute against both Switzerland and Croatia, before scoring in England’s dramatic 3-2 win against Elite Round hosts Denmark on Wednesday afternoon.
The 17-year-old, who now has seven international goals to his name, made it 2-1 with three minutes to play, and although Denmark equalised in stoppage time, fellow substitute Nonso Madueke was on hand to score the winner in the 93rd minute with his second goal of the game.
Weir featured for the first 56 minutes on Wednesday, his ninth appearance for England.
Another of Latics’ Under 18s involved in 2019 UEFA U17 European Championship qualifiers was MacKenzie O’Neill (11), who played in all three of Northern Ireland U17s’ group stage matches, a 5-0 defeat to Netherlands, a 2-0 defeat to Czech Republic and came on as a late substitute in a 0-0 draw against Israel.