Magri targets England call-up

Sam Magri was named captain in Pompey's pre-season friendly with Gibraltar Picture: �DM Parody (
Sam Magri was named captain in Pompey's pre-season friendly with Gibraltar Picture: �DM Parody (
Former Pompey owner Balram Chainrai

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Sam Magri is eyeing regular Pompey first-team squad involvement to serve as a springboard back in to the England set-up.

The promising defender was left out of the Three Lions’ under-18 squad for their last match – a March friendly against Poland.

In his absence, the national side went on to win 3-0 at Gresty Road.

Magri did, however, appear as a half-time substitute in a 1-1 draw at Slovakia in November last year.

They were England under-18s’ only two matches last season in a conscious decision to reduce the workload on youngsters.

But there will be considerably more fixtures for Magri and his team-mates in the campaign ahead as they step up into the under-19s.

The international campaign kicks off in Germany on September 6, at a venue still to be decided.

And the Fratton defender, who has been an England regular since the under-16s, is hoping regular early-season action with Pompey can earn him a call-up.

Magri said: ‘The under-19 season is starting in September so, hopefully, if I can keep doing well and be in and around the first team, I will get picked for that.

‘There are only two games a year for the under-18s but the under-19s is a full-on Euros again so will be better with a lot more chance to play.

‘In the England squad there are a few new players and a few have gone, but there are around 15 of the same players every year and it is a really good experience.

‘For me, playing against different cultures of football improves your whole game.

‘It’s about getting used to different players and different ways of playing.

‘Of course, if you play too much football you get injuries and in the past I have suffered from shin splints.

‘Hopefully it will be better next time.

‘I just want to be involved with Pompey on a regular basis, and fingers crossed, I will get a call-up for England.’

Magri captained the England under-16s and then graduated into the under-17s, making 22 appearances in the 2010-11 season.

In the summer of 2011, he represented his country at youth level, both at the European Championships and World Cup finals.