England bow for Portsmouth talent

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in action against Norway
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in action against Norway
Brett Huxtable. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain became the first Portsmouth-born player to represent England for 30 years after his Norway bow.

The Arsenal winger featured in Saturday’s friendly as a 73rd-minute substitute for Ashley Young.

It was Young who would prove to be the match-winner for Roy Hodgson’s maiden game in charge, having netted in the ninth minute.

For Oxlade-Chamberlain, his appearance ensured he followed in the footsteps of his father and former Pompey midfielder, Mark Chamberlain, in playing international football.

He also became the first local lad playing for England since Steve Foster in 1982.

Ex-Fratton man Foster earned three caps in that year in recognition of his outstanding form at Brighton – progress which also won him a place in the 1982 World Cup finals squad.

Yet since the central defender’s last appearance, nobody from Portsmouth had featured for England’s senior squad. That changed when Oxlade-Chamberlain was introduced from the bench in Oslo during the 1-0 victory.

The former St John’s College pupil also became the fifth Portsmouth-born player to play for England.

He follows in the footsteps of Reg Flewin, Peter Harris, Ray Crawford and Foster.

But unlike that quartet, the 18-year-old, who was born at St Mary’s Hospital in August 1993, has never played senior football for Pompey.

Instead his father put him in to Southampton’s youth set-up in the belief it would better help the players development.

Oxlade-Chamberlain went on to clinch a £12m switch to Arsenal last summer and was named in Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad for next month’s tournament. However, his brother Christian is currently on Pompey’s books in the Academy – and is also a pupil at St John’s.

Saturday’s friendly also saw Erik Huseklepp feature as a 74th-minute substitute for the hosts.

The Norwegian forward is back at Fratton Park following the end of his emergency loan spell at Birmingham.

Chris Hughton’s side are currently under a registration embargo.

But it is unlikely they would be interested anyway after Huseklepp fell out of the first-team squad during the end of his time at St Andrews.