Often Partisan

Butland Given Senior Callup

Jack Butland has been called up to replace the injured John Ruddy of Norwich in the England squad for Euro 2012. The 19-year-old goalkeeper has yet to make an appearance for Blues but is one of the hottest properties in the Birmingham squad after earning rave reviews whilst on loan at Cheltenham.

Whilst I doubt Jack will get a game with former Blues keeper Joe Hart along with West Ham United goalie Robert Green in front of him in the pecking order this will be invaluable experience for the young lad as he pushes for the Blues number 1 jersey next season. It’s a natural progression for Butland to be called into the squad as he is the current u21 no 1 and it shows that England are thinking towards the future and what might be.

Of course, I think it’s aided Jack’s cause that Dave Watson, who is Blues’ highly-rated goalkeeper coach is also working with the national setup and it’s good to see that Blues’ investment in their academy and coaching setup is starting to pay dividends. Unfortunately for Blues it gives more exposure to the highly rated Butland and with all manner of scouts having watched him at Whaddon Road whilst he was on loan it may be a test of Blues to hang on to him over the close season period.

I’ve only seen Jack play once this season in the flesh myself – away to Leamington in the Birmingham Senior Cup and I will profess that I don’t think he was that good that night – much as he wasn’t in the game before I saw him (Sutton Coldfield Town, 2010-11 Senior Cup). However, the word I hear is that Jack is a “bright lights” player – ie the bigger the game, the better he becomes. He’s certainly looked the part for the England u21s and I think with Blues in the Championship again next season he has a good chance of getting a starting place.

Butland’s inclusion in the England squad raises to two the number of Blues players interested in the tournament with Keith Fahey picked in the Republic of Ireland 23. It’ll be interesting to see how the both get on.

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