Published: 05:00, 13 January 2022
| Updated: 08:58, 13 January 2022
Teenager Noah Carney says it’s great for football in Kent that two players from the county have been named in England under-18s’ Schoolboys side.
Dover striker Carney has been selected alongside Cray Valley’s Jack Beerling after the third and final trial was held at Lilleshall National Sports Centre last month.
“We all need to get to know each other because we don’t really know anyone,” said 17-year-old Carney.
“But it’s definitely good for Kent to have two of us in there.”
More than 240 players had started the trial process before the squad was whittled down.
Former Kennington junior Carney revealed: “I was actually very surprised (to get selected).
"I thought I did well in the first two trials but the third trial wasn’t great.
“But I must have done enough and I’m over the moon with it.”
The squad will begin their preparations for the Centenary Shield this month - with the tournament seeing England take on Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Carney explained: “We have a friendly against the RAF this month.
“The Centenary Shield starts (for England) on March 25 when we have a game away to Northern Ireland.
“We have got to go to Belfast for that and then it goes through to mid-April. I cannot wait.”
England will play holders the Republic of Ireland on Friday, April 8, at Eastleigh.
The England call-up is the icing on the cake of what is proving to be a memorable breakthrough season for Carney.
He made his first National League start in Dover’s 2-0 Boxing Day defeat to Dagenham at Crabble, having already made appearances off the bench this season.
“I’m happy. I’m trying to take my chances when they come,” Carney explained.
“It’s a step up from what I have done with the Academy but I’ll just keep being patient and trying to take my chances when they come.”
Carney is enjoying learning off Alfie Pavey, who has made an impact since rejoining the club on loan from Maidstone.
He added: “He’s a goalscorer.
"To see him doing what he’s doing, I can definitely learn from that.
“I watch him in training all the time and try to learn from how he plays.”
Carney is the latest player to come through the Dover Academy, which is linked with the Abbey School in Faversham.
He follows in the footsteps of Portsmouth defender Sean Raggett while several other players have tried their luck in the United States.
Carney said: “It’s definitely a very good Academy.
"Some people might not think that from an outside perspective because it’s at a school.
“But players, like myself, are always going coming through, along with some more this year.”
Carney has been joined in the first-team squad by Academy midfielders George Wilkinson and Luke Baptiste who signed their first professional contracts with the club this week.