Academy graduate Ezri Konsa left speechless by England U20 call-up

George Jones reports

Academy graduate Ezri Konsa was left speechless after being informed that he had been named in the England U20 squad for this month’s internationals.

The 19-year-old, who made his senior debut for the club in August, has excelled in a number of positions this season, making 34 appearances so far.

Having arrived at training this morning, he was given the news by Manager Karl Robinson and Konsa says that he is absolutely delighted.

“I couldn’t believe it when the gaffer told me,” said Konsa, who could earn caps against Portugal, Sweden and Senegal. “He took me up to the office and showed me the letter from the FA and I couldn’t believe it.

“I’m really excited and I can’t wait to meet up with the squad. This means everything to me and it just shows that hard work really does pay off.”

Robinson was given the news himself on Wednesday evening and he is very happy for his fledgling defender.

The Manager said: “He’s been an outstanding player since he’s moved into the first team and he’s making an impact on our games.

“He was almost speechless when I told him this morning and his smile went from ear to ear – it’s a great story and he really deserves it.”

Konsa has been with the Addicks since U11 level and, since joining the club, has developed under the stewardship of Academy Manager Steve Avory and U23s boss Jason Euell.

“It’s fantastic news for Ezri and I’m delighted for the lad,” said Avory. “He’s ecstatic about it and it has been a long-term ambition for him. Others players from Charlton have got into that age-group squad before and it is something that he has always wanted to do himself.

“He’s always thought he was good enough – he’s been confident enough to say that – and now he has proved that he is. It’s a great opportunity for him to prove that he is an international player.”

Euell added: “It’s great news, it’s well deserved and, for me, I think it has come later than it should have done because Ezri’s a League One player that has played a lot of games this season.

“He has been excellent all year and it is fantastic that he has now got his opportunity to get his first bite of international football.”

Elsewhere on the international scene, Josh Magennis has been called up by Northern Ireland and will be hoping to be fit for their friendly clash with Norway at Windsor Park on March 26th, while Jordan Botaka is part of DR Congo's squad that will head to Kenya for a friendly on March 26th, and academy goalkeeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer has been named in Australia’s U23s squad.

Finally, Chelsea loanee Jay Dasilva has been called into the England U19 squad for matches against Norway (March 22nd), Spain (March 24th) and Belarus (March 27th).

The call-ups mean that our fixture against Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday, March 25th is likely to be called off. Should this be the case, it will be confirmed in due course.

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