England call up for Hartlepool college football star

Promising Hartlepool United youth team player Oscar Fletcher has been called up to represent his country.

By Tom Patterson
Thursday, 6th January 2022, 2:21 pm

The Hartlepool College of Further Education student’s place in England’s under-18 schoolboy’s squad has delighted his coaches.

Oscar, 16, has impressed throughout his first season on a programme run by Hartlepool College – in partnership with Hartlepool United – where he is in his first year of studying a diploma in sports coaching and exercise science.

Pools boss Graeme Lee said “Being selected in the England schoolboys squad is a fantastic achievement for Oscar.

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Oscar Fletcher in action for Pools

“This shows the partnership between the club and the college and the work that Ian McGuckin and Ian Clark are doing is providing the best opportunities for the young people within the programme.”

Ian McGuckin, the college’s head of high performance coaching, and Ian Clark, its high performance coordinator, are also full of pride for Oscar.

The teenage midfielder, from Middlesbrough, came through the final Pro-Direct Trial just before Christmas at Lilleshall National Sports Centre with his coveted place - and can play in this age group next season.

Mr Clark said: “We are very proud of Oscar. He is a very good student and his work ethic and attitude is first class.

Hartlepool United manager Graeme Lee.

“It is Hartlepool College’s first England call-up since 2017 when Shahban Mohammed captained the team and Connor Short was also in the squad.

Oscar will now be part of the England set-up when they play friendlies, including one against the RAF, before appearing in the prestigious Centenary Shield next year.

Mr McGuckin said: “It’s an excellent achievement and well deserved.

"Oscar has transferred seamlessly into our full-time football development programme at the college and displayed some excellent attributes, most notably displaying a team first attitude, often on occasions playing out of position to support the needs of the team.

“Some excellent performances over the last few months have capped a good year for Oscar and I am sure he will thrive on the level of challenge this next step of his learning journey will provide him with.”*For more information on courses at Hartlepool College, go to https://www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk/