Brentford goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe has been named in the England squad for the 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championships. Ellery linked up with the squad last Tuesday to complete final preparations for the tournament, which starts in Finland today. The young group have been in Finland since Saturday and the final squad for the competition has just been announced, with Ellery included.
The Brentford goalkeeper has been part of the Under-19 squad for the past year. He was one of three goalkeepers in a 24-man party for a training camp ahead of the tournament and played in two of England’s three matches in the final qualifying round for the competition. Ellery has five Under-19 caps in total and has also represented England at Under-18 level.
The 18-year-old, who has nine international appearances to his credit overall, was in the Under-20 squad that won the prestigious Toulon Tournament last summer and was called-up as a training goalkeeper for the same event this summer. This year an England Under-21 team won the tournament with Ellery part of the wider squad. Ellery signed a four-year contract with The Bees, which will run until the summer of 2022, last month and was promoted to the First Team group.
England’s first match in the tournament is tomorrow when they face Turkey. They then play Ukraine on Friday before a match against France next Monday, 23 July. There are eight teams in the competition and the top two in each group of four will play in the Semi-Finals next Thursday, 26 July. Teams that finish third in their group will have an extra game as a play-off for a place in the FIFA Under-20 World Cup 2019, which will be held in Poland next summer. The final is on Sunday 29 July.
Ellery came through the ranks and was playing Under-18 football for The Bees when just 16. He was taken on as part of the B Team group when the squad was created in the summer of 2016. He signed a professional contract a few months later as he turned 17. In the past two years in the B Team, Ellery has played 53 games. He has also been part of the matchday squad at First Team level twice. He was on the bench for the Sky Bet Championship game against Fulham in 2016 and the Emirates FA Cup tie against Notts County at the start of this year.