Norwich City duo targeted for international call-ups with Jamaica
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich City's in-form striker Lewis Grabban and midfielder Elliott Bennett have been invited to link up with Jamaica ahead of upcoming friendlies, according to media reports in the Caribbean.
The duo are part of four overseas-based players identified by national football coach Winfried Schaefer to join the Reggae Boyz squad for games against Venezuela on March 27 and Cuba two days later at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in St James. The friendlies are preparation for the Copa America and Gold Cup tournaments later this year.
Bennett has not played for the Canaries since suffering a hamstring injury in the 0-0 Championship draw at Birmingham on January 31 and the 26-year-old will again be absent for Sunday's East Anglian derby against Ipswich, but Grabban has scored four in his last four since being restored to the starting line up by Alex Neil.
City have an international break following Nottingham Forest's Carrow Road league visit on March 21 before resuming their Championship promotion push at Brighton on Good Friday, and Neil may be reluctant to allow Grabban to risk injury at a critical part of the season.
Neither Grabban or Bennett have any senior international honours but are among a quartet which includes Reading defender Michael Hector and MLS midfielder Giles Barnes who has represented England at under-19 level.
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Schaefer recently made a fact-finding mission to England to scout potential new recruits.
'I am happy about the two matches in preparation for the Copa America, Gold Cup and the World Cup qualifiers that begin in August,' Schaefer was quoted in the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper. 'We want to test the quality of the players in England and the MLS. We watched many matches and talked to the players. I was happy about meeting with the players. I want to field good teams. The aim is to win these tournaments and to build a new team for the World Cup qualifiers. The players want more success after winning the Caribbean Cup last year.'
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