Spence takes next step

Jordan Spence has been rewarded for his first-team involvement at West Ham United this season with a call-up to the England Under-19 squad for a friendly next month.

The 18-year-old defender has been an unused substitute for the first two Barclays Premier League games of the 2008/09 campaign, having also been taken on the club's high-profile summer tour of North America. He has been named in Brian Eastick's selection to face the Netherlands at Shrewsbury on Tuesday 9 September.


Spence has made great strides for the Young Lions. In 2007, he captained England U17s to the European Championship final and then played his part, including a match-winning goal against Brazil, as England reached the U17 World Cup quarter-finals. Last season, he stepped up to become the regular skipper at U18 level and got his first taste at U19 level, where James Tomkins, Junior Stanislas and Freddie Sears have also made their mark. All four could be involved in next year's U20 World Cup in Egypt in September 2009.