CONNOR CAN CAPTAIN COUNTRY

COUNTRY CALL-UP: Connor Hall
COUNTRY CALL-UP: Connor Hall

CONNOR Hall has been tipped to captain his country by Bury Town manager Richard Wilkins after being called up for England Colleges.

The 18-year-old West Suffolk College student has followed in the footsteps of the likes of ex-Ipswich Town defender Ian Miller and current Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Nick Pope by being selected for the national colleges side.

And the Team Bury centre-half, who has also made two appearances for Bury Town’s senior side, cannot wait to link up with his new international team-mates in the New Year to face their Welsh counteparts, before going on a tour of Italy.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be honest — I couldn’t feel any better,” said Hall, who thanked college coaches Wilkins and Ross Wilding for their parts in helping him. “It’s been a great achievement, especially considering I wasn’t performing that well in my first year of college.

“But coming through and now being linked with the players who have come out of the college is great.”

Other West Suffolk College students who have gone on to represent England Colleges are current Bury Town stars Lee Smith and Danny Cunningham, as well as ex-Blue Craig Parker, now plying his trade at Chelmsford City.

And Hall — who had to come through three rigorous trials, including the last at Lilleshall National Sports Centre on Sunday, to make the 18-man squad — was praised highly by Wilkins following his successful call-up.

“He’s a quality player who has come on leaps and bounds in the last year,” said the Blues’ boss, who is also the head coach at West Suffolk College’s sports academy. “He’s a smashing lad with a lot of attributes and there’s a real chance he will be captain of that team.

“It’s a great opportunity for him — he’s a great lad with a bright future ahead of him and is an absolute joy to teach.”

n Bury Town’s Callum Clipstone has been called up to the Suffolk Under-16s squad that will face Essex at White Notley FC on Sunday.