Blues’ back-up keeper Crowe earns surprise first senior Wales call-up from Ryan Giggs

Michael Crowe has been called up to Wales squad. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Michael Crowe has been called up to Wales squad. Picture: ROSS HALLS - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town reserve goalkeeper Michael Crowe has been called up to the senior Wales squad for the first time.

Michael Crowe during warm-up at Sunderland Picture Pagepix

Michael Crowe during warm-up at Sunderland Picture Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Crowe, who has yet to make his senior debut for Ipswich, has been on the bench for the Blues since Dean Gerken’s season-ending hip injury.

He has now been included in Ryan Giggs’ first Wales squad for the China Cup, which will see them play two games in the Far East starting with a semi-final clash against the hosts in Nanning on March 22. Uruguay and the Czech Republic are the other sides involved.

The 22-year-old Ipswich goalkeeper’s only senior experience has come during loan spells in the National League with Woking and Braintree and he is yet to make his debut in the Football League.

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Crowe has been called up alongside Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy and Chris Maxwell of Preston, while Liverpool’s Danny Ward misses out due to visa issues. Giggs said of Ward: “He’s had administrative problems with his visa. It’s not his fault. It’s out of his hands”

Speaking in January, following news of Gerken’s injury, Blues boss Mick McCarthy said: “Michael is our second choice now but he’s not played a league game. If anything happened to Bart we would have to look to get a keeper in from somewhere.

“It depends. If it’s one game or coming on as a sub it’s different, but I’m not sure Michael is going to go in and have 14 or 15 games.

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“As much as a back-up he’s been it’s different when you come in and have to play week in, week out. Especially when we’ve had the level of Gerks and Bart in the nets.”

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McCarthy ultimately opted not to bring in a third goalkeeper during the January window.

Bartosz Bialkoski has been called up to the Poland squad for the first time, while Jonas Knudsen will be away with Denmark for games against Panama and South Korea as the pair chase a place at this summer’s World Cup.

Flynn Downes and Tristan Nydam have also been handed international calls and will play a part in three games as England’s Under 19s bid to secure their place at the summer’s European Championships.