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Medway's Ryan Bertrand set to make England debut

Ryan Bertrand
Ryan Bertrand

Former Gillingham schoolboy Ryan Bertrand could make his England debut this week as his rapid rise shows no signs of stopping.

The 23-year-old, who played for the Gills youth team before being scouted by European champions Chelsea in 2005, has been called up for Wednesday's friendly against Italy.

With a number of Three Lions regulars left out, manager Roy Hodgson has said he wants to give youth a chance.

That will be music to the ears of left back Bertrand, who has had a busy summer representing Team GB at the Olympic Games.

The former Robert Napier pupil also scored his first Chelsea goal yesterday in the Blues' 3-2 defeat to Manchester City in the Community Shield.

A year ago he was on the fringes of the first team, with his future far from certain.

But towards the end of last season he was given a chance to impress by manager Roberto Di Matteo, and put in a string of solid performances, culminating in his shock inclusion in May's Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

Now he is being talked about as a potential long-term replacement for current first choice left back Ashley Cole.

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