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Kevin Keegan
"The reward is to be part of the squad"
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Kevin Keegan
"I've stuck my neck out and said the three goalkeepers"
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Kevin Keegan
"I won't be doing any major experimenting anymore"
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BBC's Mike Ingham
"The only real surprise was Nick Barmby"
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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK
England squad named

Nick Barmby: Back in the frame for Euro 2000
Nick Barmby could be in line for a surprise role in England's Euro 2000 campaign after he was named in Kevin Keegan's preliminary squad.

The Everton star has been rewarded for some impressive recent form by being included in the 28-man party for the up-coming friendlies against Brazil, Ukraine and Malta.

David James: Surprise choice on the goalkeeping front
Robbie Fowler was also named in the squad, despite missing most of the season through injury.

And there was good news for Fowler's 19-year-old Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa goalkeeper David James.

But there was no place in the 28-man party for Chelsea left-back Graeme Le Saux.

Keegan had indicated before Monday's announcement of the squad that he wanted to give both Le Saux and Fowler the maximum time in which to prove their fitness for Euro 2000.

But Le Saux has not played since suffering an ankle injury last October and Keegan said: "He has just started light training and it's impossible for him to get ready for a major championship."

For Fowler, there was a late glimmer of hope: "It does not worry me he hasn't played too many games as long as he shows the appetite and fitness in training," Keegan said.

Two other fringe players - Coventry's Steve Froggatt and Trevor Sinclair of West Ham - have also been told they will not be going to the championships.

Graeme Le Saux
Le Saux failed to recover fitness in time
Keegan, who must whittle his squad down to 22 by June 1, revealed that he had picked such a large group because he was concerned about further injuries.

He said: "One of the reasons it's a squad of 28 is four Arsenal players are playing in the Uefa Cup final, three players in the FA Cup final, and (Ipswich goalkeeper) Richard Wright involved in at least one play-off game.

"Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard could get a call-up if we do have injuries."

Midfielder Barmby was one of the surprise inclusions and Keegan revealed that he was asked to keep an eye on him after a tip-off by Everton chairman Bill Kenwright.

"He's been picked for the form he's in - it's as simple as that. His form throughout the season has been very consistent.

Robbie Fowler
Fowler is in despite playing just 14 games all season
"I have been to watch him three times in the last six weeks - at the request of his chairman Mr Kenwright - and his form has been very good."

James' impressive displays this season for Aston Villa earned him a call-up and Keegan admitted he could make the final 22 ahead of Ipswich Town's Richard Wright in the event of an injury to Seaman or Nigel Martyn.

Which forwards will miss out on the finals will be one of the main talking points over the build-up to Keegan's final squad selection, but for now he says he is keeping all his options open.

"I've got six forwards and one has to go which is tough because they all deserve to play," he said. "Two also have to go from midfield and two from defence."

England squad:

Goalkeepers: David Seaman (Arsenal), Nigel Martyn (Leeds United), Richard Wright (Ipswich Town), David James (Aston Villa)

Defenders: Tony Adams (Arsenal), Sol Campbell (Tottenham Hotspur), Rio Ferdinand (West Ham United), Martin Keown (Arsenal), Gareth Southgate (Aston Villa), Gary Neville (Manchester United), Phil Neville (Manchester United)

Midfielders: David Beckham (Manchester United), Paul Ince (Middlesbrough), Steve McManaman (Real Madrid, Spain), Kieron Dyer (Newcastle United), Jamie Redknapp (Liverpool), Paul Scholes (Manchester United), Jason Wilcox (Leeds United), Dennis Wise (Chelsea), Ray Parlour (Arsenal), Nick Barmby (Everton), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

Forwards: Alan Shearer (Newcastle United), Emile Heskey (Liverpool), Robbie Fowler (Liverpool), Michael Owen (Liverpool), Kevin Phillips (Sunderland), Andy Cole (Manchester United)

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See also:

16 May 00 | England
Keegan eyes up Fowler
16 May 00 | England
Barmby vows to shine
15 May 00 | England
James thrilled by England call-up
14 May 00 | The BBC Team
England facing knockout heartache
14 May 00 | England
Keegan on the spot
14 May 00 | England
Le Saux's fitness fear
14 May 00 | England
Fat Les score for England
14 May 00 | Squad
Kevin Keegan
14 May 00 | England
England form guide
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