Football: England honours for ex-Vale striker Malbon
FORMER Port Vale striker Anthony Malbon has been selected for the England non-league squad.
The 20-year-old, who is from Sneyd Green, will play in Russia early next month less than four months after leaving Newcastle Town.
He said: "I am excited, but it is all a bit weird. I was playing for Newcastle Town not so long ago and now, all of sudden, I am going to play against Russia."
Newcastle Town sold Malbon to Blue Square Bet Premier side Kidderminster Harriers for £7,000 plus add-ons in January, and he has scored eight goals in 16 games.
He added: "I started the last 13 games, which gave me a lot of confidence, but we just missed out on the play-offs when it had been in our own hands."
Malbon did not figure much at Vale under manager Micky Adams, and had a couple of spells with Leek Town before signing a contract with Newcastle at the start of the season. He scored for fun at Evo-Stik Division One (South) level, netting 29 times before Kidderminster moved in.
Malbon's season ended on a stretcher after he was air-lifted to hospital with concussion during Kidderminster's home defeat by Mansfield in their last game of the season.
But he quickly recovered and is now looking forward to meeting up with the England C team, as it is known, on May 30. The game is on June 5.
The squad is selected from full-time players in the Conference.
NORTON chairman Steve Beaumont has hailed manager Scott Dundas and his men as "the best team we have had".
Beaumont joined the club in 1989 and served as player, coach and manager, but says there has been nothing to touch the current squad.
He said: "This is the club's best season on record. The manager has done a brilliant job and the players have been unbelievable."
Norton won their last three games on successive nights last week to finish one point behind champions Wigan Robin Park, but Beaumont said: "We are the best team in the league. We beat Wigan in the North West Counties Division One Cup final, beat them 5-2 at home in the league and drew 1-1 away but, in the end, the games caught up with the players."
Norton played 60 games in all competitions, scoring 188 goals.
In addition to winning promotion and the Division One Cup, they reached the final of the Staffs FA Vase, semi-final of the League Cup and last 16 in the FA Vase, while Dundas picked up five manager-of-the-month awards.
KIDSGROVE have had to keep their players ticking over as they still have their Staffs Senior Cup final to play against Rushall Olympic at Vale Park next Thursday.
The game was called off two weeks ago due to a waterlogged pitch and Kidsgrove, the cup holders, have already held their presentation night.
Manager Peter Ward went for Mark Beeston as his player of the year while the players voted for Andy Taylor.
Skipper Craig Dove picked up the chairman's award, Danny Smith was favoured by the fans, while Dave Walker won the golden boot for his 23 goals.
Clubman of the year was Graham Plant.
CONGLETON Town boss Jim Vince won the North West Counties League Premier Division manager-of-the-month award for April after his team finished the season with five victories on the trot.