Alex Gilliead

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

United forward Alex Gilliead has been drafted into the 18-man England under-16 squad for next month's Montaigu Tournament in France.

The Consett-based starlet, who turned 16 last month, was originally on standby for the Three Lions party but has now been chosen by Kenny Swain to replace Derby's Mason Bennett.

Between 3rd and 9th April, Gilliead and his team-mates will play in four games, having been drawn in Group C alongside Morocco and Japan before being pitted against two other sides later in the competition based on results.

It is the 40th year of the tournament in western France and it's more international recognition for the St. Bede's Catholic School pupil, who made his bow in last October's 4-0 Victory Shield win over Wales.

And it caps a whirlwind few weeks for him after winning the Jack Hixon trophy at this month's Sport Newcastle Awards before scoring his first goal at under-18 level in the 3-1 win against Stoke. He has been regularly involved for Dave Watson's table-topping side since his debut at Wolves on 3rd March.

After finding the target against Stoke, Gilliead told "I've been put on standby for the Montaigu Tournament coming up in the Easter holidays, so if anyone can't make that I get to go there. So hopefully someone will drop out!".

Now he has got his wish.

England under-16 squad for Montaigu Tournament

Goalkeepers: Daniel Atkinson (Leeds United), Callum Burton (Shrewsbury Town)

Defenders: Josh Aina (Chelsea), Arlen Birch (Everton), Ashley Smith-Brown (Manchester City), Max Clark (Hull City), Callum Jones (West Bromwich Albion)

Midfielders: Reece Brown (Birmingham City), Kean Bryan (Manchester City), Charlie Colkett (Chelsea), Dan Crowley (Aston Villa), Connor Hunte (Chelsea), Bryn Morris (Middlesbrough)

Attackers: Jordan Brown (Arsenal), Alex Gilliead (Newcastle United), George Green (Everton), Alex Iwobi (Arsenal), Jerome Sinclair (Liverpool)