Last autumn, when Adam Stansfield was scoring goals for the little Devon club Elmore in the Screwfix Direct League, the suggestion that he would be playing for England before Easter would have seemed far-fetched in the extreme.
Yet, barring injury, Stansfield will be representing his country at Broadhall Way, Stevenage, on Wednesday week. He was a surprise selection this week when John Owens, the coach of the England National Game XI (formerly the England semi-professional side) named his squad for a friendly against the United States.
In November Yeovil Town, looking for a striker to boost their Nationwide Conference title quest, swooped to pluck Stansfield out of the obscurity of West Country regional football. He has responded with a regular supply of goals as the Glovers have risen to second place in the league, and on Tuesday he opened the scoring as the Somerset side reached the quarter-finals of the FA Umbro Trophy with a 2-1 victory over the holders, Canvey Island, at Huish Park.
Owens, a former Altrincham stalwart who is now the assistant director of Liverpool's Academy of Excellence, said this week: "Some people will think that playing for England is too fast a rise for Adam, but I think he has something different to offer."
Along with the defenders Terry Skiverton and Anthony Tonkin, Stansfield is one of three Yeovil players in Owens' squad. There is only one player from the Conference leaders Dagenham & Redbridge, the striker Junior McDougald, and, more surprisingly, no one from third-placed Boston United.
The US squad is drawn mainly from the A-League, which is one level below Major League Soccer. Their coach is Leigh Cowlishaw, who once played for Burton Albion.
England National Game Squad (Friendly v United States, Stevenage, 20 March): Goalkeepers: Brown (Chester City), Woods (Scarborough). Defenders: Travis (Forest Green Rovers), Skiverton, Tonkin (Yeovil Town), Goodliffe (Stevenage Borough), Ryan (Doncaster Rovers), Moore (Telford Utd). Midfielders: Patterson (Farnborough Town), Drummond (Morecambe), Roddis (Woking), Wormull (Stevenage). Forwards: Patmore (Woking), McDougald (Dagenham & Redbridge), Talbot (Morecambe), Stansfield (Yeovil).
US Squad: Goalkeepers: Vallow (Rochester Raging Rhinos), Ueltschey (US Amateur Soccer Association). Defenders: Schulte (Minnesota Thunder), Walton (Rochester), Wilson (Charleston Battery), Annichero (Atlanta Silverbacks), Blake (USASA). Midfielders: Burke, Knight, Lekics (Richmond Kickers), Kingsley (USASA), Suarez (Connecticut Wolves), Winters (Portland Timbers). Forwards: Henderson (Richmond), Mitchell (Rochester), Swinehart (Charlotte Eagles), Castellanos (USASA).Reuse content