Paul Woolston


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Magpies goalkeeper Paul Woolston is hoping to win his second England under-17s cap when the Young Lions face Portugal in the FA International Tournament on Friday night.

And the 16-year-old has been reflecting on his international debut against Czech Republic at Kidderminster's Aggborough Stadium on Wednesday.

Woolston was denied a clean sheet by Jiri Miker's late goal as England drew 1-1, but the North Shields-born shot-stopper was satisfied with his first England appearance.

Speaking to TheFA.com, he said: "I was happy that my family were there. My brother, sister, parents; every one of them travelled down to watch, which I was really pleased about. It was a great experience.

"And they were a good team, really physical and they pressed for most of the game, so they made it difficult for us.

"I had a lot of the ball, which is interesting for me as a goalkeeper as that is different from what I'm used to in club football, but I was involved quite a lot and I had to ensure I stayed concentrated and do everything right."

He added: "I think my distribution is one of my strongest points. I'm not the tallest, so if I can continue and excel with that then it could help to push me up to the higher levels of the game."

Newcastle have an abundance of international goalkeepers. Tim Krul was one of the stars of last summer's World Cup while Rob Elliot made his Republic of Ireland bow during the summer.

Jak Alnwick has represented England at youth level while Freddie Woodman received his first England under-18 call-up this week after lifting the UEFA European Under-17 Championships trophy recently.

And Woolston said: "I speak with Fred nearly every day, and he was brilliant when England won the Euros in May. He told me before coming away here that I should just enjoy it and be myself, whilst doing what I do best.

"Tim is another great role model, and he showed at the World Cup how important it is to always be prepared. Even if I'm not selected to start, you could be called in at any minute, so you need to be ready - he proved that for Holland in the shoot-out in Brazil.

"The quality of goalkeepers at the Club, with nearly all of them at the first-team end internationals at various ages, shows where the level is at. Hopefully I can continue with my development and keep my place as an international over the years and eventually make my first-team debut too."

England under-17s face Portugal at Chesterfield's Proact Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm) then host Italy at Burton Albion's Pirelli Stadium on Sunday.

With thanks to Gary Stonehouse and TheFA.com