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Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Monday, 14 March 2011

Celtic's Gary Hooper called up for England Under-21s

Celtic's Gary Hooper
Hooper was 21 when European qualifying began

Celtic striker Gary Hooper has been called up to the England Under-21 squad for the matches against Denmark on 24 March and Iceland four days later.

Bolton midfielder Mark Davies and Aston Villa defender Nathan Baker have also been selected for the 31-man group.

Manchester City's Micah Richards and Sunderland's Jordan Henderson are other notable inclusions.

The games are a last chance for manager Stuart Pearce to assess players ahead of European U-21 Championship in June.

Pearce's team will play a warm-up game before the tournament begins in Denmark, where they will face Spain in their opening group game on 12 June.

Despite being 23, Hooper qualifies for the squad as he was under 21 at the start of England's qualifying campaign.

The former Scunthorpe forward moved north of the border in July 2010 and there were reports in February that he was seeking a Scottish bloodline.

Davies, 22, has been called up after a series of impressive displays for Bolton, who reached the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

"It's a large squad we will take with us to Denmark, mainly because this is our last chance to take a good look at all of the players who are able to stake a claim for place in the final squad for the summer," Pearce said.

"There are one or two fresh faces in there such as Gary Hooper and Mark Davies but in the main the majority of the players are well known to us and have been involved in the qualifying for the tournament.

"Now's the time for all of the players to impress in the minds of the coaching staff that they want to be the ones stepping on to the plane. At the end of this meet-up I need to be able to make some final decisions about my squad - and I will."

England will face Denmark in Viborg before travelling back to England to take on Iceland at Preston's Deepdale on 28 March.

England Under-21 squad: Fielding (Blackburn), Loach (Watford), Smithies (Huddersfield), McCarthy (Reading), Baker (Aston Villa), Bennett (Middlesbrough), Bertrand (Chelsea), Caulker (Tottenham), Gibbs (Arsenal), Mee (Manchester City), Naughton (Tottenham), Richards (Manchester City), Smalling (Manchester United), Tomkins (West Ham), Walker (Tottenham), Albrighton (Aston Villa), Cork (Chelsea), Cleverley (Manchester United), Davies (Bolton), Henderson (Sunderland), Lansbury (Arsenal), McEachran (Chelsea), Muamba (Bolton), Rodwell (Everton), Rose (Tottenham), Sinclair (Swansea), Delfouneso (Aston Villa), Hooper (Celtic), Sturridge (Chelsea), Welbeck (Manchester United), Wickham (Ipswich).

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see also
Levein cautious on fresh call-ups
09 Feb 11 |  Scotland
Italy U21s 1-0 England U21s
08 Feb 11 |  Football
Romania U21 0-0 England U21 (1-2)
12 Oct 10 |  Football
Hooper completes switch to Celtic
27 Jul 10 |  Celtic

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