Alex Gilliead

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Magpies young gun Alex Gilliead has been called into the England under-17 squad for this month's Euro Elite Qualifying Round games.

The County Durham-born forward was initially on standby for the matches but replaces injured Liverpool teenager Jerome Sinclair and joins Magpies team-mate Freddie Woodman in the party.

England face Portugal, Russia and Slovenia, with only the top side in the four-team group progressing to May's finals in Slovakia.

Qualification for the finals will also provide an opportunity to seal a spot in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, which is held in the United Arab Emirates later this year.

England take on Portugal at Walsall's Banks's Stadium on Saturday, 23 March before facing Russia two days later at Burton's Pirelli Stadium. The final game against Slovenia is in Burton on Thursday, 28 March.

Gilliead has won five caps at under-17 level as well as four for the under-16s, while goalkeeper Woodman has conceded only one goal in four under-17 appearances and two under-16 caps.

The squad is: Angus Gunn (Manchester City), Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United), Josh Aina (Chelsea), Joseph Gomez (Charlton Athletic), Connor Ogilvie (Tottenham Hotspur), Ashley Smith-Brown (Manchester City) Ben O'Hanlon (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Bamidele Alli (MK Dons), Kean Bryan (Manchester City), Charlie Colkett (Chelsea), Bryn Morris (Middlesbrough), Ruben Loftus Cheek (Chelsea), Dan Crowley (Aston Villa), Mason Bennett (Derby County), Bradley Fewster (Middlesbrough), Alex Gilliead (Newcastle United), George Green (Everton), Alex Kiwomya (Chelsea).