I don’t know why but as soon as I saw this news article on the OS I immediately thought it may be two of the players that were released last month. It seems a very Wimbledon thing to do, to big up an a achievement of someone deemed not good enough for the club… so I was delighted to find out it was Steven Gregory who got the call into Paul Faircloughs 19-man squad for the International Trophy match against the Republic of Ireland in Waterford on 26th May.
The International Challenge Trophy pits Englands C team (basically a Non-League U23 team) against various other nations under 23 sides. Eire select players from their own domestic league, yet other nations field their Olympic sides or full strength selections. The Waterford game kicks off group B, with Estonia waiting in the wings. Games in other groups have already begun, with Italy (A) and Portugal (C) leading the way.
Gregory’s call-up comes off the back of an impressive debut season in a Dons shirt. He seemed to be one of the few young players who learned from their mistakes last term, and proved himself one of the better defensive midfielders in the division. Make no mistake, Steven Gregory really deserves this. Equally satisfying is the news that Sam Hatton was called up to the reserve list, and a huge thumbs up from Fairclough (who undoubtedly would have taken advice from others in the Non-League game before this selection). The squad contains a number of Oxford players, who still need to make it through the Play-Off final at Wembley unscathed, so there is hope for Sam yet to make the full squad.
Well done to the pair of them, and hard luck to Luke Moore who undoubtedly would have made at least the reserve list had his season not been ruined by injury.