MEMBER of Parliament Dr Phillip Lee and two mayors have led the town’s praises for the two Bracknell Town FC players who have received international recognition, writes Dave Wright.

Liam Ferdinand, 23, has been selected to represent the England Football Association in an ambassadorial visit to the Falkland Islands next month.

Teammate Joe Grant, 21, is in the contingency squad but is expected to make this “once in a lifetime opportunity to represent your country.”

Proud Robins chairman Kayne Steinborn-Busse commented: “In the summer of 2015 we started a journey to transform Bracknell Town FC and increase opportunities for young players to participate and progress in a safe, well-coached sporting environment.

“Whilst along the journey we have had moments to reflect upon and smile, this latest news has achieved a milestone that surpasses them all.”

Dr Lee was quick to send his congratulations to the club, saying: “There is no greater honour and can be no greater thrill than to represent your country.

“BTFC have done so much over the last few years to improve the standard and the facilities at the club.

“Hopefully, this will be the first of many such milestones to come.”

Bracknell Town Mayor Cllr Sandra Ingham described it as “excellent news”, adding: “Bracknell Town Council is delighted and proud to learn two Bracknell FC players have been selected to represent the English FA. A great honour indeed.”

And the Mayor of Bracknell Forest, Cllr Alvin Finch, had this message for Ferdinand and Grant: “What a wonderful achievement for both of you and such an amazing accomplishment the BTFC.

“It will be an amazing opportunity to be able to represent your club and country. I am sure it will be a very exciting experience.”

Beverley Stevens, head teacher of Ranelagh School, also offered her congratulations, telling Steinborn-Busse: “Their selection is a testament to the transformational work you have all undertaken at the club. Your vision and the tenacity required to realise it have played a vital role in this success.”

Paul Fairclough, the England ‘C’ team manager, will be in charge of the squad which will fly out on Wednesday, November 7, a flight close to 7,850 miles, and return the following Tuesday.

Striker Ferdinand said his selection came as “a bit of a shock,” adding: “Obviously, I am very happy. I didn’t expect to get the opportunity or get to experience a game like this.

“It shows at whatever level you are playing at, it is good if you are performing well, you can get opportunities like this. Hopefully, I can go there and perform well.”

The squad, which has primarily been selected from Step 4 leagues, also includes Mitchell Parker, who trained and played in pre-season games for Bracknell before rejoining Hellenic League club Reading City.

In addition to the news of the England call-ups, Bracknell were also delighted to hear they have been drawn at home to Reading FC in the second round of the Berks & Bucks Senior Cup. The tie has been confirmed for Tuesday, October 30, when the Championship club are expected to field mainly their Under-23 squad.

  • BRACKNELL are this Sunday hosting a charity match with Sky Sports presenters and reporters playing the AFA United charity team that often includes celebrities.

Kick-off is at 2pm. Admission is £3 and free for Under-12s.