PAUL FAIRCLOUGH has challenged his England C side to make their mark in the Football Association’s momentous 150th year – after naming his Lions to take on Turkey.
Blue Square Bet Premier club Dartford host the mouth-watering International Challenge Trophy semi-final clash – that England earned by qualifying through a group containing Russia, Italy and Belgium – on Tuesday, February 5.
There are four new faces in Fairclough’s 16-man squad. Macclesfield duo Ryan Jackson and Sam Wedgbury join fellow first-timers Christian Jolley, Newport County, and Welling keeper Sam Mott.
Braintree midfielder – and England C player of the year 2011-12 – Kenny Davis also makes a return to the fold.
The rest all played in England’s impressive 2-1 win in Belgium earlier this season.
Fairclough attended the FA’s big 150th anniversary launch at the Grand Connaught Rooms last Wednesday alongside the great and good of English football.
And with big plans throughout 2013 to commemorate the milestone Fairclough doesn’t want his side to miss out on the celebrations.
“It will go down in the history books and we’d like it to go down as a win. It is a special moment.
“It was an exceptional performance from the players who went to Belgium in our last group game. I was hoping to have a look at some others against Albania but that didn’t happen.
“The majority of the players who played against Belgium have retained their form. But also we’ve had other players come on the scene who have really affected my decision.”
A big crowd is expected at Princes Park for the game against a talented Turkish side who have players from the likes of Galatasaray to call on.
But Fairclough is determined his side have the capability of reaching the ICT final once again.
“Turkey are just as strong as Russia and they are a mature team. They are proper men. They’re not 19 or 20 year olds – it is their national B team and that says a lot.
“They have players who are very comfortable on the ball. You can see from the way they play that they’ve played together a lot.
“They all know the system and you can see very clearly what they are trying to do on the pitch.
“I know what response we’ll get from our players – that’s a given. It’s down to me to get the formula and the tactics right. I believe we can pull it off and get into the final.”
As part of the FA’s birthday bash they will dish out Club England awards at St George’s Park on Sunday, February 3.
Forest Green pair Kieron Forbes and Jamie Turley along with Hyde striker Scott Spencer are in with a shout of picking up the England C gong.
Fairclough added: “It’s a big honour for us to be part of Club England – we’re really chuffed.”
England C squad v Turkey on Feb 5: Preston Edwards (Ebbsfleet), Sam Mott (Welling), Ryan Jackson (Macclesfield), Aswad Thomas (Grimsby) Jamie Turley, Eddie Oshodi (both Forest Green), Simon Ainge (Luton), Lindon Meikle (Mansfield), Josh Gillies (Gateshead), Kenny Davis (Braintree), Kieron Forbes (Forest Green), James Vincent (Kidderminster), Sam Wedgbury (Macclesfield), Scott Spencer (Hyde), Andre Gray (Luton), Christian Jolley (Newport County).