By Tony Dewhurst
Carlisle teenager Stephen Nugent has landed an England call-up.
The James Rennie School pupil has won a place in the Mencap England team after recent football trials.
The 19-year-old follows in the footsteps of school pal William Swailes, who last year played for his country in Switzerland at the European Football Championships.
William's achievement led to him being named as the Every Player Counts Player of the Year for the North West at the Grassroots Football Show in May 2011.
Every Player Counts is the country's largest disability sports programme, supported by The Football Pools and delivered by 47 Football League Trust community programmes. Every Player Counts provides the opportunities for William and Stephen to play regular sport and progress to their full potential.
Stephen demonstrated his football talent during the trials, skills that have been supported and developed through regular playing opportunities for his school team as well as the after school club, supported by Carlisle United's Football in the Community Scheme.
Stephen, a season ticket holder at Brunton Park, said: "I was shocked but very proud when I found out I was selected for the squad as the standard of players was so high."
Corinna Cartwright, headteacher at James Rennie School, said: "We are delighted for Stephen.
"He loves his football and Carlisle United. He's done ever so well.
"Stephen is quite small but he's quick and very good at running. He scored twice in the trials and it is a great honour for him."
Mike Evans, General Manager of The Football League Trust, said: "We would like to congratulate Stephen on his call up to the England squad. His dedication and hard work has resulted in the opportunity of a lifetime, which I am sure he will grasp.
"Every Player Counts continues to provide sporting opportunities for thousands of people with disabilities every week, and to see the likes of William and Stephen progressing through to the elite national squads is an amazing achievement by them as individuals, and also the staff at Carlisle United Football in the Community."
Stephen, who lives in Carlisle, will attend a training camp in Leeds in May before heading to Geneva in June.
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