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Page last updated at 17:55 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Former coach praises star Gosling

Dan Gosling
Gosling was coached by Charles at Eden Park Primary in Brixham

Devon footballer Dan Gosling's former coach has spoken of his pride following the Everton midfielder's selection for the England Under-21 squad.

John Charles, who coached Gosling at primary school in Devon, said the 19-year-old had talent from an early age.

Charles told BBC Sport: "Dan had a lot of natural ability and naturally all the other boys always wanted him to be on their team.

"His selection makes me feel very proud, especially as he's a local lad."

Gosling will join up with Stuart Pearce's squad for England's European U21 Championship qualifiers against Portugal on Saturday and then Lithuania next week.

The Brixham-born player started his professional career with Plymouth Argyle in 2006, making his debut for the Pilgrims as a 16-year-old against Hull in December of that year.

I believe Dan has the talent to go all the way as a full international

John Charles

Two years later, Gosling made the jump to top-flight football when he was signed by Everton in January 2008.

And after impressing for the Toffees in the Premier League this season, Gosling got the call from the England set-up on Tuesday, a moment which Charles believes was inevitable.

Charles said: "Even at 10 years old, Dan had a lot of concentration and always listened.

"Boys of that age have very low concentration levels, but Dan was already ready to listen and that was one of his big plusses.

"I believe Dan has the talent to go all the way and represent England as a full international."

Charles has been coaching youngsters at Eden Park Primary in Brixham since 1970.

And the success of his former charge provides Charles with an invaluable tool in enthusing his current crop of players.

He said: "I often mention Dan's name when I'm coaching the boys now. I say look at him in the Premiership - it can be achieved.

"It's a big help having someone like him playing top-flight football."



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