North East trio picked by Pearce; FOOTBALL SHORTS ENGLAND UNDER-21s.
SUNDERLAND striker Connor Wickham and two Middlesbrough players - goalkeeper Jason Steele and on-loan Manchester City striker Alex Nimely - have been named in the England Under-21 squad for the forthcoming European Championship qualification doubleheader against Iceland and Belgium. Boro's Joe Bennett and Newcastle midfielder Dan Gosling are among five players named on standby for Stuart Pearce's 25-man squad.
Manchester United duo Danny Welbeck and Phil Jones, who have broken into Fabio Capello's senior squad, have been omitted from the party for the two games - on November 10 in Colchester and on November 14 in Mons, Belgium.
Pearce, whose side have made a 100% start to the Group Eight campaign, will also be without injured West Ham midfielder Henri Lansbury. He has called up five new faces in Crystal Palace's Nathaniel Clyne, Brighton's Lewis Dunk, Barnsley's Jacob Butterfield, Tottenham's Tom Carroll and Nimely.
ENGLAND UNDER-21 SQUAD: Amos (Manchester United), Butland (Birmingham), Steele (Middlesbrough); Baker (Aston Villa), Bennett (Peterborough), Briggs (Fulham), Clyne (Crystal Palace), Dawson (West Brom), Dunk (Brighton), Flanagan (Liverpool), Kelly (Liverpool), Smith (Tottenham) Barkley (Everton), Butterfield (Barnsley), Carroll (Tottenham), Gardner (Aston Villa), Henderson (Liverpool), Lowe (Blackburn), McEachran (Chelsea), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Rodwell (Everton), Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Nimely (Middlesbrough), Sordell (Watford), Wickham (Sunderland). Standby list: Bennett (Middlesbrough), Rudd (Norwich), Shelvey (Liverpool), Townsend (Tottenham), Gosling (Newcastle).