Duo free for Town

IPSWICH Town's 18-year-old first team duo of Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose are set to be excused duty with the England Under-20 squad for the forthcoming tournament in Dubai.

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH Town's 18-year-old first team duo of Darren Bent and Darren Ambrose are set to be excused duty with the England Under-20 squad for the forthcoming tournament in Dubai.

Both are key men in the push for promotion back into the Premiership. Midfielder Ambrose has hit ten goals this season and striker Bent eight.

While this pair are unlikely to be included, fellow Town teenager Matt Bloomfield is set to be in the party for the event that takes place between March 25 and April 18 in the Middle East.


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The midfield player has yet to make a Blues senior debut.

Ipswich manager Joe Royle will meet England Under-20 coach Les Reed on Friday along with other managers.

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The Town boss said: "We have a very good relationship with Les and it has been agreed before that players involved in a first team will benefit more by playing for their club than in these tournaments."

Bloomfield, who lives at Trimley, was last week at an England squad training camp in La Manga.

Jermaine Jenas is likely to be free to play a role in Newcastle's charge for Champions League qualification after fears he might be called up for the tournament in Dubai receded.

The 19-year-old midfielder, who has already been capped at under-21 level, is still eligible for the squad.

However, it is understood that his progression through the ranks at both club and international level makes it unlikely that he will be selected.

That will come as a relief to manager Sir Bobby Robson, who like Everton boss David Moyes with 17-year-old striker Wayne Rooney, would have been unhappy to have lost an important player.

Reed moved to ease the fears when he said: "The message that I want to get across is that I haven't selected a squad for the UAE and I have no intention of selecting that squad until I have spoken to - either in person or on the phone - all of those managers who have first-team players in contention.

"The last thing that I intend to do is select a squad and then deal with conflict afterwards. No managers need be concerned that a letter will end up on their desk without prior warning."

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