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From Wortley FC to England – Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips nets England call-up

Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips has been called up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad for their Nations League fixtures next month.

England, who are playing for the first time since November, travel to Iceland on Saturday 5th September, before facing Denmark on Tuesday 8th September.

The international call up for the player who ‘learned his trade’ with Wortley Juniors as a boy, comes after a fantastic season which ended with promotion for his hometown club.

On being named in the Three Lions squad, Phillips said:

“I’m buzzing. Never in a million years did I think I’d get into this position, but I’m here now and I can’t thank Leeds United enough for helping me get there.

“Last night I heard the manager wanted to speak to me, then on the way to training today, he rang to say that he’d been watching me for a while and would like me to join up with the rest of the lads.

“It’s a big step but I’m going to take it and give it everything I can. It’s massive for not just me, but also my family. I just want to push on, keep doing even better and see where it’ll take me.”

His boyhood club tweeted their support this morning:

Leeds United also tweeted their support:

Phillips last year played a part in helping Wortley FC secure planning permission for new pitches on the former Wortley High School playing fields, off Blue Hill Lane.

As reported by WLD, in a letter supporting the planning application, 24-year-old Phillips thanked the club for its support as a young player and said it was ‘good to hear’ about the plans. He played for Wortley between 2003 and 2010 and added:

“I really enjoyed my time at the club and I still watch some of the games. The pitches will make a lot of difference to the club, both from the playing side and supporting. When I played we all played at different pitches so my mum had to run around to get myself and my brother to games, which meant she did not get to see both our games.

“I still have friends and relations playing at the club with the open-age men’s team.

“There are many benefits to [the] proposals, like the opportunities it will give local children, and adults who may wish to become coaches. Knowing the site as I do, I know it would benefit from a facelift. To this end I fully support this project and hope to come along when it is finished for a tour around.”

On his decision to include Phillips within the latest England squad, Gareth Southgate said: “He’s a player that we’ve watched a lot over the last 12 months. Leeds have had an outstanding way of playing, the position he plays is one where we need competition and the way he plays in that role is clear to see.

“I spoke to him this morning, which was a nice reminder of what it means for somebody to be in their first England squad. “It’s a proud moment for him, his family and his club.”

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