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Villa ace Young stunned by England call-up

Aston Villa wing ace Ashley Young admits he thought someone was pulling his leg when he first learned of his England call-up.

"To be recognised by England is a big thing for me. I was surprised at the phone call this morning," he said. "I was on my way into training and was told it was Steve McClaren. I thought it was someone winding me up.

"Once he had finished talking, I was a bit taken aback. I had to ring the family and let everyone know. I think that they were even more excited than I was.

"These matches are qualifiers and to get a first call-up for these sort of games is a big thing. I'm really happy inside and excited although I might not be showing it to you.

"I will just look upon it as a great chance to be involved with the squad. Anything else will be a bonus. All I've got to try and do is what got me in the England set-up and then we will see what happens.

"I am enjoying my football, I am full of confidence and Martin O'Neill has put a lot of confidence in me. I can't wait for the games to come up with England."

Villa boss Martin O'Neill said: "I'm delighted for Ashley. He has impressed sufficiently for Steve McClaren to put him in his squad and he is ecstatic about it.

"He is playing with a great deal of confidence and has been for some considerable time. He was really on his game at the back-end of last season and carried it on with the under-21s.

"He didn't have much of a break in the summer but he is buoyant at the moment and this call-up is a measure of the progress he is making.

"It's nice that people like Ashley and Gareth Barry can get this sort of recognition because it shows you don't have to play for teams like Manchester United to get the call-up.

"Ashley will be the first to say he has a long way to go but we know what he is capable of doing."

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Tribal Football Staff

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