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Loach Earns England Call-Up

Former Lincoln City Apprentice Scott Loach has been called up to the England Squad for tonight’s friendly against Hungary at Wembley.

Now at Watford, the 22 year old was given the news he was being promoted from the Under-21s by Club boss Malky Mackay on Tuesday.

The news clearly came as a surprise to the youngster – who initially thought that he was being dropped from the Watford first eleven, he said:

“The gaffer called me, he told me to sit down, I thought I was getting dropped from the team completely. He said ‘you’re not going home because you’re going out with the senior squad’ and I’d take that over a day off.”

Loach has benefited from former team-mate Ben Foster’s withdrawal from Fabio Capello’s squad for the friendly with Hungary on Wednesday, as well as Paul Robinson’s retirement from international football.

The young stopper is not expecting to play a part in the match, but is not letting that dampen his spirits.

“It’s where I’ve wanted to be all my life,” he said. “Even if it means sitting on the bench the whole game, just to have a training session and to be named on that England programme is a big step for me.”

“I’m very proud that our small Club can claim responsibility for a vein of England players over the last few years. If it’s only the first step on the ladder I’ll take that because hopefully there’s much more to come.”

Foster, 27, received his first England call-up while on loan at Vicarage Road from Manchester United and Mackay believes Loach’s success is a reward for the Hornets’ backroom staff. He said:

“To have a second goalkeeper at the Club to go into the full England squad in the last three years speaks volumes for the Youth set up, recruitment set up and Alec Chamberlain’s coaching.”

“I’m really pleased for Scott. I’ve known him since he was 17 years old.”

“I think the amount of effort and time that he spends wanting to be a top goalkeeper, you sometimes get little rewards for.”

“When that call came in from Ray Clemence to myself, I was delighted to be able to phone one of my players and tell him he’s been called up for his country.”

Loach has made 86 appearances for Watford since making his debut in a League Cup tie with Bristol Rovers in August 2008.

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