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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Bayliss blasts England selectors

DAVE Bayliss has criticised England C bosses over their squad selections.

The Barrow AFC joint-manager believes his, and other North-West based non-league clubs, get a raw deal when it comes to semi-pro international call-ups.

Bayliss, whose side were set to play Forest Green at Holker Street today, 3pm, said: “It should be called England south. Anyone north of Tamworth doesn’t get in the side.

“I don’t think the scouts go past the M6 Toll Road in the Midlands. It’s a bit of a joke, really. It’s not just us, Fleetwood and Southport also have good players but they don’t seem to want to pick from the teams up here.”

Bayliss watched England C draw 2-2 in a friendly against Wales Under-23s in midweek, a game in which Barrow defender Mike Pearson played for Wales.

The England side was also purely made up of under-23s, with manager Paul Fairclough running the rule over players ahead of the International Challenge Trophy Group B decider with Estonia next month.

The 16-man England squad against Wales contained just two players – Aden Flint (Alfreton) and Michael Gash (York) – who could be classed as at clubs based north of Tamworth. Alex Rodman, from Tamworth, was also involved.

Mike Appleby, FA league and clubs manager, who is responsible for England C and amateur teams, said: “We have about seven scouts who get around. If they don’t see Barrow at Barrow, they will be monitoring them on their travels.”

He added: “We play in the International Challenge Trophy, which is an under-23 competition. Not all the other countries treat it as non-league like we do.

“Provided you are under 23 years old before the competition starts you can play through till the end, so some lads might be 24-25 before the finals. We used to have the Four Nations tournament, which was open age. Unfortunately that has gone, after Scotland and Republic of Ireland pulled out of it.

“We are concerned that, in effect, the older lads are missing out now, so we’re looking at ways of getting round that, perhaps with an open age summer tour.”

In Barrow’s current squad, only winger Paul Rutherford and on-loan Carlisle United striker Andy Cook (Football League players can be involved with permission of the parent club) would be eligible for England C U23s selection.

Looking back on previous seasons, Bayliss said: “A few years ago we had Steve McNulty, who was probably the best non-league centre-half going and he couldn’t get in. Jason Walker and Paul Brown got one England game, Brownie scored, but neither got an invite back.

“Andy Bond should have breezed into the team, but never really got a sniff apart from a stand-by call-up.”

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