QPR striker Austin Gets First England Call-Up

Charlie Austin

Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin received his first England call-up on Thursday when he was named in their 24-man squad for next month’s friendly against Ireland and the Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia.

The 25-year-old, who has scored 17 Premier League goals this season despite QPR failing to avoid relegation, is joined by two other new faces – Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton – in manager Roy Hodgson’s squad.

Austin has enjoyed a remarkable rise through the English football pyramid after working as a bricklayer and playing in the minor leagues with the likes of Kintbury Rovers, Hungerford Town and Poole Town.

“This is a strong squad and I’m pleased to welcome the three newcomers,” Hodgson told a news conference.

“We have always had our eye on Austin but up to this point we have had the full quota of forward players.

“He will get an opportunity to show us what he can do in training and in matches, though I can’t promise him a game. I am pleased to welcome him into the fold. I have heard good things about him and know he is a good player.”

England play Ireland in a friendly in Dublin on June 7 before facing Slovenia in Ljubljana on June 14.

Hodgson’s men top Euro qualifying Group E with 15 points from five matches and are six points clear of Slovenia and Switzerland.

England Squad:

Goalkeepers: Robert Green (Queens Park Rangers), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), Ryan Mason (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Forwards: Charlie Austin (Queens Park Rangers), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)

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Abideen Owolabi

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