England call-up for Brighton and Hove Albion's young defender

Alex Cochrane has been called up to the England under-20 squad (By Paul Hazlewood @bhafc)
Alex Cochrane has been called up to the England under-20 squad (By Paul Hazlewood @bhafc)

Brighton and Hove Albion under-23 defender Alex Cochrane has been called up to the England under-20 squad for their final games of 2019.

England's young Lions face Portugal on Thursday 14 November at the Municipal Stadium de Agueda, before hosting Iceland under-21s on Tuesday 19 November at Wycombe Wanderers’ Adams Park.

Albion under-23 manager Simon Rusk said, “Alex’s inclusion in the England squad is a reward for his performances so far this season.

“He has continued to work hard after his new contract in the summer and has been a consistent and important part of the side this term. We wish him all the best for the time he spends away with England and look forward to welcoming him back after the international break.”

Cochrane made his senior Albion debut in the Carabao Cup game against Aston Villa in September. He has made 12 appearances for the under-23s this season and has scored twice.

The full-back agreed a new two-year deal with Albion last summer.

Cochrane said, “I got told on Monday that I was potentially needed, then got a phone call from John Morling at about 11.30am, before getting a flight over to Portugal at about 4pm in the afternoon.

“It’s all happened very quickly but it’s obviously a massive honour. I met up with the lads about seven o’clock last night. It’s something I didn’t expect but I’m absolutely delighted. It’s now about me going and expressing myself in training and enjoying every moment.

“All my family and friends are very proud, I’ve had plenty of messages and everyone’s delighted for me. My phone’s been going off non-stop with people saying how proud they are of me and now I just want to go and make them even prouder.

“There’s a lot of quality in the group and some very talented players. That’s been shown by their involvement in the Premier League and Europe for their club’s senior squads,” he continued.

“The group itself is very humble and I felt welcome straight away, I can’t thank everyone enough for how well they’ve helped me settle in.

“I’d say this is probably up there as one of the proudest moments of my career so far, very close to how I felt when I made my senior debut, so it really is a great honour.”