Preston North End have five first-team players on international duty including Aston Villa, Liverpool and Leicester loanees

Preston North End will have five of their first-team squad away on international duty over the next week or so.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 21st March 2022, 8:00 am

Cameron Archer, Sepp van den Berg, Daniel Iversen, Ali McCann and Alan Browne have gone away with their countries for the fourth and final international break of the season.

Archer’s call is to the England Under-20 squad which is regarded as an important stage of the pathway in international football.

It is the second time he’s been in the squad, having played as a substitute against Portugal in November last year.

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Preston North End striker Cameron Archer

There are a couple of other Preston connections in the Under-20s, with former PNE scholar Tyrhys Dolan – now a regular in the Blackburn Rovers team –and Preston-based James Hill named in the squad.

Hill, son of former PNE left-back Matt Hill, joined Bournemouth in the January transfer window from Fleetwood Town in a £1.6m deal.

Archer has scored five goals for North End during his loan from Aston Villa and the club are optimistic about the chances of borrowing him again for next season.

While it is likely Villa will want to run the rule over him in pre-season there’s a good chance they will want him to get further experience of first-team football in 2022/23.

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England Under-20s travel to face Poland on Friday before returning home to play Germany at Colchester a week tomorrow.

Their head coach Andy Edwards said: “For us, 2022 is something of a talent identification year.

“We’re looking at players who are in the pathway, and players who can come in. Historically, it has proved a very good age group for development.”

Two of PNE’s other loanees, Van den Berg and Iversen, will be looking to impress with their countries.

Van den Berg is with the Netherlands Under-21s and Iversen with Denmark’s senior squad.

For goalkeeper Iversen, it is his first call-up for the full squad and a mark of how far he has progressed in his 14 months on loan with PNE.

McCann is in the Northern Ireland squad for friendlies against Luxemburg and Hungary, with Browne named in Republic of Ireland’s squad for games with Belgium and Lithuania – both being played in Dublin.

The remainder of the North End squad have been given time off during the international break.