Focus on England C
19 March 2018

Focus on England C

Manager Paul Fairclough and his England C team will provide a tough test for opposite number Mark Jones as a new era for international football in Wales begins.

Wales v England

C International Challenge Match

  • Tuesday, 20 March 2018
  • Jenner Park, Barry
  • Kick Off:7.30pm
  • Coverage: S4C/Sgorio Online 

With a squad of players selected from the National League and the National League North, Fairclough has selected just three players over the age of 23, so here's a closer look at some of the key opposition players and the manager himself.

Louis John

Age: 23

Position: Defence

Club: Sutton United(National League)

A veteran of over 100 senior game for Sutton United, John scored a brace for England C on his international debut in the 4-3 defeat to Slovakia in June 2016 after coming off the bench.

A towering central defender, John suffered a serious of injuries at the very start of his senior career, but the former Crawley Town player has recovered to become an important figure at his club.


Ryan Croasdale

Age: 23

Position: Midfield

Club: Kidderminster Harriers (National League North)

Born in Lancaster, Croasdale came through the youth ranks at Preston North End after spending over a decade at Deepdale.

Gained senior football experience with loan spells at Tamworth and Stalybridge Celtic before making a permanent switch to Sheffield Wednesday in 2014 following his release.

After two years at Hillsborough without making a competitive senior appearance, Croasdale signed for Kidderminster Harriers in the summer of 2016, and has been a key player for John Eustace's team since. Made his debut for England C in May 2017.


Josh Rees

Age: 24

Position: Midfield

Club: Bromley (National League)

A former Arsenal youth player who signed for Nottingham Forest following his release from the Gunners.

Rees would only make one appearance for Forest but gained senior football experience with loan spells at Nuneaton and Torquay United before making a permanent move to National League South side Chelmsford City in 2016.

A string of impressive performances earned him a move to National League side Bromley the following summer. Rees has also represented England at U16 and U17 level in addition to his England C cap.


Jason Gilchrist

Age: 23

Position: Forward

Club: Southport (National League North)

A striker who spent a decade at Manchester City before continuing his youth football career at Burnley where he spent a further three seasons and made his Football League debut on-loan at Accrington Stanley in 2015. 

Gilchrist joined FC United of Manchester in 2016 and made headlines with his goalscoring exploits before switching to National League North rivals Southport last summer for an undisclosed record fee. Has continued to find of the back of net since his move and has justified the investment in his services.


Fejiri Okenabirhie

Age: 22

Position: Forward

Club: Dagenham & Redbridge (National League)

An exciting attacking player who can also play wide, Okenabirhie came through the junior ranks at Arsenal before joining Stevenage in 2014, but his opportunities were limited and loan moves to Bedford Town, Farnborough, Cambridge City and Royston Town followed before he made a permanent switch to Harrow Borough in 2015.

Signed for Dagenham & Redbridge in 2016 and has now played over 100 senior games during his career. Has three caps for England C after making his international debut in 2017.


Meet the Manager - Paul Fairclough

Veteran coach Paul Fairclough, 68, took charge of the England C team back in 2003 where he combined the role with that as manager of Barnet.

Now fully-focused on his international commitments, the former Liverpool youngster is a well-respected figure within the FA and the non-league game, and his side lifted the European Challenge Trophy in 2006 with a 4-1 win over the Netherlands.

The majority of Fairclough's playing career was spent in the non-league game, and he took up his first managerial post in 1988 with Hertford Town, before later having two spells in charge at Stevenage. After departing as manager of Barnet in 2008, Fairclough returned to the club on a caretaker basis three times, the most recent in 2014.

“If we go back to the days when we played games against each other in the Four Nations  they were feisty, competitive occasions,” Fairclough told The Non-League Paper following the announcement of his squad. “I remember the keeper Tony Roberts and how up for the game he would be even in the tunnel. So that goes back a long way and it’s great to have this game. They will be as equally comfortable on the surface as we will be, so it will be a really good occasion for everyone.”

England C squad:


James Montgomery (Gateshead)

Grant Smith (Boreham Wood)


Louis John (Sutton United)

Daniel Jones (Barrow)

James Jones (Chester)

Sam Ling (Leyton Orient)

Josh Staunton (Woking)


Ryan Croasdale (Kidderminster Harriers)

James Hardy (AFC Flylde)

Jim Kellermann (Aldershot Town)

Rob Ramshaw (Spennymoor Town)

Josh Rees (Bromley)

Tom Walker (Salford City)


Jason Gilchrist (Southport)

Dan Maguire (Blyth Spartans)

Fejiri Okenabirhie (Dagenham & Redbridge)