Hodgson opts for youthful World Cup squad

Ross Barkley, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw all won selection in England's youthful 23-man FIFA World Cup squad.

The quartet, all 23 or under, are a third of the 12 players heading to their first ever major championship as coach Roy Hodgson looks to the future.

The squad announcement heralds a new era for England, so starved of success since their 1966 World Cup triumph.

So often plagued by the heavy weight of national expectation, Hodgson will hope his young players can spring a surprise in Brazil as his side initially face off against Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in Group D.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard will again lead the side, and experienced pair Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard are sure to play important roles as well.

But it is the injection of youth that excites England fans, a view shared by Hodgson.

Southampton's 18-year-old defender Shaw was the youngest player picked, with his likely selection becoming a formality after Ashley Cole's international retirement on Sunday.

Hodgson also picked seven players on standby, but they are not expected to attend England's camp in Portugal next week, or be required in Miami for pre-tournament friendlies and training.

Squad in full:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Celtic), Ben Foster (West Brom), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Southampton), Chris Smalling (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Ross Barkley (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Southampton), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), James Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)

Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Southampton), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Manchester United)

On standby: Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Andy Carroll (West Ham), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Jermain Defoe (Toronto), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Ruddy (Norwich City), John Stones (Everton)


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