Royle worry over young internationals

JOE ROYLE was last night delighted Darren Bent had received more international recognition but urged the FA to be cautious about the amount of football young players were being asked to play, writes Derek Davis.

JOE ROYLE was last night delighted Darren Bent had received more international recognition but urged the FA to be cautious about the amount of football young players were being asked to play, writes Derek Davis.

Bent is in Italy today after being handed a late call-up to David Platt's Under-21 squad for their training camp in Italy.

Platt's squad is preparing for a friendly against Serbia and an Under-21s European Championship qualifying match against Slovakia next month, and has lost both Joe Cole and Gareth Barry to the senior squad in the past few days as a result of injuries to senior players.

Royle was pleased to see the teenage striker gain recognition but was concerned that players were not getting enough rest in the summer and is sympathetic to David Moyes' dilemma with Wayne Rooney and the senior England commitments.


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He said: "It is getting harder for international players. It is non-stop for them and there is a worry about burn-out, especially for younger players. On the one hand the FA say there are too many games, then we have all these internationals. It is not easy and I do have sympathy for people like David and his situation with Wayne."

England are in Durban to play a friendly against South Africa without Rooney, who has medial knee ligament damage.

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The injury also damaged relations between Everton boss Moyes and England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, who was not convinced of the extent of the injury and called for an examination by an England doctor, which was held at a Heathrow hotel.

There is concern that too much is expected at international level from 17-year-old Rooney, who has made less than a dozen starts for his club this season.

Bent had to cancel a holiday after being handed the late selection on Sunday, when it emerged that Darren Ambrose was unwell and not able to travel.

The former Town star, who signed for Newcastle United in March, recovered sufficiently and left his Ipswich home to join up with the squad in Sardinia.

The duo made their under-21 debuts for Platt against Italy in April but if they are not needed for the two games next month they both could be called into the England Under-20s, who compete in the prestigious Toulon tournament at the beginning of June.

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