They complicate fixture calendars and expose already overworked players to even greater levels of physical stress, writes James Shield.
But Nigel Adkins has no plans to dissuade Sheffield United’s players from fulfilling their international obligations despite predicting some could contest over 50 fixtures this term.
Louis Reed and Che Adams were yesterday confirmed in England’s under-19 and under-20 squads respectively while Callum McFadzean, who could also feature against Swindon Town tomorrow, has been called-up by Scotland’s under-21’s. With David Edgar set to report for duty with Canada immediately after the match at the County Ground, Adkins said: “It’s an absolute honour to be selected by your country. Nobody should ever try and put a block, in my opinion at least, in front of that. So no, I’m not one of these people who might not be too pleased to see them go. Quite the opposite, we’re delighted for them in fact.”
Adams, who signed a new long-term contract earlier this week, is set to make his debut for Keith Downing’s side when the Czech Republic visit Greenhous Meadow, Shrewsbury, next month. The teenager was set to appear for England’s C squad before joining United last term but was forced to withdraw when his transfer from Ilkeston was processed.
“It (the contract) is richly deserved,” Adkins, the United manager added. “We like to think that we can give him the opportunities and surround him with the right environment. We’ll keep him grounded and try to make the most of the fantastic talent that he’s got.”
Reed is set to visit Germany and Croatia while the Scots, coached by Ricky Sbragia, meet Northern Ireland.
Edgar, on loan from Birmingham City, faces the most arduous journey as Canada attempt to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Benito Floro’s team play the first instalment of their double-header with Belize at BMO Field, Toronto, on September 4 before the return in Central America four days later. The winners of that tie will then face Mexico, Honduras and either Curacao or El Salvador in the next round of CONCACAF’s qualifying tournament.
Edgar could return to England only 48 hours before United host Bury at Bramall Lane but Adkins said: “You just get on with it. It’s a privilege for these lads to be involved and we want more.”