Watch how the skills of these two footballers earned them a play with England

(Left to right) Ethan Warne and Charlie Dickerson were picked to play for England U18 Schoolboys’ sq

(Left to right) Ethan Warne and Charlie Dickerson were picked to play for England U18 Schoolboys’ squad. Picture: KAREN WARNE - Credit: Archant

A pair of talented footballers have made their England debut after battling off fierce competition to be selected for the under 18s schoolboys' team.

Charlie Dickerson, of Mattishall near Dereham, and Ethan Warne, of Taverham, both 17, played for England U18 Schoolboys' squad in their first friendly match on Sunday, January 12.

England beat the RAF's U23 team at Oxford City FC 4-1.

The up-and-coming players currently attend Dereham Education and Soccer Academy (DESA) - a Dereham Sixth Form course run as Dereham Town Academy based at Aldiss Park.

Mr Dickerson, a Dereham Town FC first team player, said he was "buzzing" after he discovered he had been picked for the team, following trials last year.

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Mr Warne, who also happens to be the nephew of Rotherham United manager Paul Warne, added: "It was a lot of pressure going through the trials but when I got on the pitch I felt calm.

"I've loved the sport ever since I was young. Football has the ability to take me away from normal everyday life."

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Mr Warne has also played in the Dereham Town FC squad previously, as well as for Mattishall FC.

This was the pair's first chance to wear the Three Lions badge and represent their country, while wearing the new away kit. The team will be officially presented with their home England shirts at a presentation later in the month.

English Schools' Football Association chairman Phil Harding said: "We are delighted at the strong start the England U18 Schoolboys have made to their International season in 2020."

Trials for the England U18 Schoolboys' squad began back In October 2019.

Players nominated by their counties were whittled down through two stages of regional trials until the official squad was chosen after final trials took place at Rowley Park, Stafford, at the start of December.

Ashley Bunn, chairperson of Dereham Town Football Club, said: "As a football club we couldn't be prouder of this amazing achievement. It really is testament to our values as a football club and shows the incredible work that goes on at our academy - DESA. We hope that the whole town and area will now keep an eye out and follow their progress as the lads represent England."

- School leavers can apply to DESA by emailing

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