Zak Lovelace, a promising forward for Rangers, has been called up to England’s under-17 squad for three matches this month. Lovelace made his top team debut against QOS and was an unused sub against Livingston last month. He will be heading to Holland with the young lions for the Euro U17 elite qualifiers, with the aim of securing a return place to the finals in Hungary at the end of the season. Lovelace is one of 21 players in Ryan Garry’s thoughts for games against Denmark, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands. He is also one of the few players in the pool who can boast first-team experience, having played against Queen of the South earlier this season.
Lovelace shared the squad announcement with fans on Instagram, revealing his full first name Zakariya and his team-mates for the trip. Since arriving at Rangers from Millwall last summer, Lovelace has impressed and helped the under-18s to the Scottish Youth Cup Final. Despite suffering an injury against Real Madrid, he returned to action and has continued to impress.
Lovelace is not the only Rangers youth on international duty, with Adam Devine and Cole McKinnon on Scotland under-21 duty and Charlie Lindsay away with Northern Ireland under-19s. Cameron Cooper, Bailey Rice and Leyton Grant are also in national age-groups.
Meanwhile, former Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster received a call-up to the senior England squad for their upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers. Nick Pope was originally named in Gareth Southgate’s squad after a strong season with Premier League high flyers Newcastle United. However, after being forced to pull out of the set-up with a minor problem, Southgate turned to Forster, who now plays for Spurs. Last capped in 2016, Forster was a surprise inclusion ahead of the games against Switzerland and the Ivory Coast a year ago. He has recently found himself between the sticks for Tottenham after regular first choice, and captain, Hugo Lloris suffered an injury. Nicknamed the ‘Great Wall’ by Spanish press after his heroics against Barcelona, Forster has had no less than four spells at Celtic, moving to Southampton from Glasgow for £10m in 2014.
Overall, it is clear that Lovelace’s call-up to England’s under-17 squad is a testament to his hard work and dedication to the sport. With his impressive performances for Rangers and his experience playing against top teams like Queen of the South, he is sure to make a valuable contribution to the team during their upcoming matches. Meanwhile, Forster’s call-up to the senior England squad is a reminder of his talent as a goalkeeper and his ability to perform at the highest level.