Date: 25th August 2006 at 2:24pm
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Ashley Young has finally gained the recognition his performances last season have merited and has been called-up to the England Under-21 squad for the first time.

The Stevenage-born attacker – who was voted into the PFA Championship team of the year last season – has been selected by Peter Taylor for the 24-man squad to face Switzerland in a European Championship qualifier on Wednesday 6 September.

The versatile 21-year-old`s remarkable 2005/06 season saw him score 15 goals, the most memorable being a 20-yard curling free-kick to send Watford 2-0 up against Crystal Palace in the play-off semi-final.

Young has improved leaps and bounds under the management of Adrian Boothroyd and 2006 marks a meteoric rise up the football ladder for the former Academy player; making his Premiership debut and being included in the England Under-21 squad despite playing fewer than 20 first-team matches until this time last year.

Under-21 squad in full:

Goalkeepers:

Ben Alnwick
Lee Camp
Scott Carson
Defenders:
Leighton Baines
Curtis Davies
Anton Ferdinand
Justin Hoyte
Micah Richards
Nedum Onuoha
Andrew Taylor
Steven Taylor

Midfielders:

Darren Ambrose
David Bentley
Tom Huddlestone
James Milner
Nigel Reo-Coker
Wayne Routledge
Tom Soares
John Welsh
Peter Whittingham

Forwards:

Cameron Jerome
David Nugent
Theo Walcott
Ashley Young