'He's been on our radar' - Brighton defender receives first international call-up

Brighton defender Ed Turns has joined the Wales set-up ahead of the European Championship Under-21 qualifiers against Switzerland and Bulgaria.

Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ed Turns has been called-up for the Wales under-21 national team
Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ed Turns has been called-up for the Wales under-21 national team

Turns made his Seagulls debut in September’s Carabao Cup victory over Swansea and has been a non-playing substitute in the Premier League.

The 19-year-old Brighton academy graduate qualifies through his Welsh-born mother and Under-21 manager Paul Bodin is delighted to have him on board.

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“Ed has done really well at Brighton and is part of their first-team squad on occasion,” Bodin said after naming a 20-man squad for this month’s 2023 Euro qualifying double header.

“He’s highly thought of at Brighton and, to be around the first team at a Premier League club and train with those players, he deserves an opportunity.

“He’s been on our radar for a quite a while, but he’s really progressed this year.

“He’s keen to offer his services to what we do. He’s seen the opportunity to progress quite quickly.

“But it’s all about what you do at your club, especially a Premier League club.

Turns is joined in the Wales Under-21 squad by fellow defender Oliver Denham, who this week signed a new two-year contract at Cardiff.

Denham, 19, has made two cup appearances for Cardiff, with his first start coming in an fourth-round FA Cup tie against Liverpool at Anfield last month.

Skipper Brandon Cooper (ligament damage) and Billy Sass-Davies (calf) are ruled out of the trip to group leaders Switzerland on March 25 and the home game with Bulgaria in Newport four days later.

Wales are currently fourth in Group E with six points from seven games.

Squad: N Shepperd (Dundalk), L Webb (Shelbourne, on loan from Swansea), G Ratcliffe (Cardiff), F Stevens (Brentford), O Denham (Cardiff), M Boyes (Livingston), R Astley (Everton), E Jones (Altrincham, on loan from Stoke), O Beck (Liverpool), J Adams (Dundalk), T Taylor (Burton), S Bowen (Cardiff), D Williams (Dundalk, on loan from Swansea), R Hughes (Everton), J Vale (Blackburn), I Davies (Cardiff), L Jephcott (Plymouth), S Pearson (Inverness, on loan from Bristol City), E King (Cardiff), E Turns (Brighton).