Three Lions Link For Another Stowell
Family Joy Brightens Tough Week
‘So what’s it like being the only one in your household who hasn’t played for England?’
The banter of football dressing rooms being what it is, Mike Stowell must have been ready for the question as soon as he connected again with work colleagues following the announcement that has lit up his family’s Christmas.
His Bristol-born wife, Rachel, won 17 caps for her country and now their daughter, Ella – a keeper like her dad – has been named in the England under-15 schoolgirl squad for their programme of 2022 matches.
So don’t expect any number of good-natured jibes to remove the smile from the face of Leicester’s long-serving goalkeeper coach.
We have written before about Ella, notably when she played half a game for Wolves last spring in a clash with her own club, Bristol City.
Now, a year ahead of her time, she has been selected for her first taste of international football after starring in Gloucestershire’s run to the final of the age-group national championship, impressing in the south-west side and finally coming through trials at Lilleshall.
The 14-year-old has Gloucestershire team-mate Emily Cadell for company in an 18-strong squad preparing for a programme of friendlies that includes one against the Independent Schools’ FA.
They will then be involved in preparatory training before their competitive fixtures come against other home nations at the end of the season in the Bob Docherty Cup.
The announcement has undoubtedly been the highlight of a tough covid-hit week for Mike at Leicester, who have had to endure the worry of numerous positive tests and the subsequent postponement of games against Tottenham and his first club, Everton.
Amid the congratulations and micky-taking, we trust the 56-year-old has pointed out the international experience he had early in his long career at Wolves, brief though that dalliance was.
In much the same way that Conor Coady was repeatedly praised as an outstanding squad member during the European Championship, Stowell was complimented by Graham Taylor back in 1990 for digging his way out of snow drifts to report for an England B game in Algeria.
Unfortunately, he remained that wild and wet night as an unused member of the party, which included the more active Geoff Thomas – then of Crystal Palace.