The Saints duo are both away from St Mary’s this week on international duty with England at youth level.
Southampton academy manager Matt Hale has paid tribute to the Saints youngsters who have been called up by their nations during this international break, including two in the England youth ranks, in conversation with the official Southampton website.
The St Mary’s Under-23s captain, Callum Slattery, is represending England Under-20s this, while goalkeeper Jack Bycroft is with the England Under-19s, two of around 30 or 32 lads who have been called up from Under-15s level to Under-21 level in the last 12 months, according to Hale.
Slattery, who was nominated for September’s Premier League 2 Player of the Month award, was part of the Young Lions team that won the 2017 Toulon Tournament, netting the fourth penalty in the shootout in the final against Ivory Coast.
“Callum has shown a great attitude this season,” said Hale. “We know what he’s capable of. He’s had that opportunity with the first team and I’m sure that will come around again soon, as his performances continue. I’m delighted for him to be recognised again by the England setup, which is testament to that attitude and how he’s applied himself.”
Regarding Bycroft, who signed his first professional contract at Southampton last year, Hale said: “Jack’s done tremendously well. We’ve felt for some time that he was at that level, and finally he’s got that recognition and been rewarded for his hard work and the continuous development he’s shown. He’s trained a lot with the first team and the first-team goalkeeping staff. He’s had some fantastic performances – both in our Under-18s last year and this year in the Under-23s. We’re delighted for Jack.”
Last season saw Southampton hand first-team debuts to five academy graduates in Slattery, Yan Valery, Tyreke Johnson, Kayne Ramsay and Marcus Barnes.