Date:Thursday September 6 2012
Leeds United development manager Neil Redfearn says Tom Lees called up to the England under 21 squad is great news for the clubs academy system.
The 21 year old has been called up to the England squad, for their final European 2013 qualifier against Norway at Chesterfield on Monday night and Redfearn says it is thoroughly deserved. Speaking on Yorkshire Radio, Redfearn said, "It is good for the club and it is great news for the academy as well. He is one of the academy products, he is one of our boys and he has done brilliantly for the first team.
"He is playing well at this moment in time and he has earned the call."
After coming through the Leeds academy, Lees spent two seasons out on loan with Accrington Stanley and the Bury.
He made 43 appearances for Accrington Stanley in the 2009/10 season and Stanley boss John Coleman said he rated the youngster as the best right back in League Two.
The following season, Lees was an almost ever-present for Bury, where he made 47 appearances and he was named the clubs players player of the year as Bury won promotion to League One. Bury manager Richie Barker was also full of praise for the youngster rating him as the best central defender in League Two.
Lees form with Bury earned him an improved deal with Leeds by manager Simon Grayson.
The defender broke into the Leeds side at the start of last season when he made his debut against Bradford City in the Carling Cup. His early season form earned him another improved deal by the club.
Lees made 45 appearances in his first season in the first team with Leeds and new Leeds boss Neil Warnock rewarded him with another new contract that committed him to the club until the summer of 2015.
He played at both centre back and right back last season and he was named the clubs young player of the season.
After missing the opening two games of this season through injury, Lees is quickly forming a great partnership at the centre of defence with Jason Pearce and he has already netted twice for the club this season.
The game at Chesterfield on Monday night could be crucial to England`s chances of qualifying for the finals in Israel next summer.
England are currently two points clear of Monday`s opponents Norway, with two games remaining.
Both sides are in action this evening with England travelling to Azerbaijan and Norway making the trip to Belgium.
The winners of the group will qualify for the play-offs for a place in the finals.
The game on Monday at the B2Net stadium Chesterfield kicks off at 7pm.
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Date:Thursday September 6 2012
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