Jenkins hoping England call-up just the start

Mick Jenkins Picture: Dave Haines
Mick Jenkins Picture: Dave Haines
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Mick Jenkins is eyeing regular England involvement following a shock call-up for representative duty.

The former Hawks boss has been recruited by Paul Fairclough to hand pick an England C side to mark the 125th anniversary of the Western League.

It was a phone call out of the blue for the Farlington-based Jenkins.

Asked by England C boss Fairclough to assemble a squad of talented players from clubs around the south and south-west area, it was a challenge he set about with relish.

Jenkins’ selections will now take on a Western League Select XI at Melksham Town tonight (7pm).

And Salisbury’s director of football is hoping the honour can lead to a greater part in the England non-league set-up.

He said: ‘I’ve come up against Paul Fairclough when he was at Barnet and I was at the Hawks in the FA Cup, I think that was also the previous time we spoke.

‘Then I received a phone call one day asking if I wanted to help out.

‘It’s a representative fixture, they do a lot of these around the country, and it’s attached to England C, with Paul Fairclough running it.

‘I’ve been co-opted to assist with a view to further involvement, which is obviously really pleasing.

‘After that there’s an England C international in Slovakia in November and Paul is looking for attitude to the job and performance. It’s really a shop window for both myself and the players.

‘It’s just a case of seeing how we perform on the night and then taking it further or not taking it further.

‘Possibly, there could be further England involvement for me down the line, Paul has sort of hinted at that.

‘He hasn’t said for sure, he’s always looking around at staff that are available and whether they can help out. So maybe.

‘I guess I will be judged on the players I’ve picked, how I have organised them and my involvement on the night with preparation, the hotel meet-up and everything else that goes with it.

‘I’ve got a non-league background of 20 years, so it’s a great opportunity for me – in addition to the players I have selected.’

On this occasion, the England C squad is restricted to players outside National League South, while it is stipulated they must play their football within an hour from Melksham.

Among Jenkins’ selections are Farlington-based former Hawks keeper Charlie Searle and ex-Pompey apprentice Elliot Wheeler, both on Salisbury’s books.

Matt Cafer, recently released by Gosport, has also made the squad.