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No Brazil trip but Stones vows to win more caps

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 6th June 2014
John Stones playing for England. Picture: Getty Images.

John Stones is set to travel back to Barnsley this weekend and miss out on the World Cup but he has been backed to add many more England caps to the two he picked up this week.

 

The defender from Thurlstone – who was on the standby list for the competition in Brazil – made his full international debut on Friday, two days after his 20th birthday, as a late substitute in England's 3-0 victory over Peru at Wembley.

 

As revealed in the Chronicle last month, recently-relegated Barnsley do not get any money from Everton for Stones playing for England although there is a substantial sell-on fee and the likes of Chelsea are known to be considering a big-money move for him.

 

The former Penistone Grammar pupil – who made 28 appearances for the Reds before leaving for Everton for £3million last year – flew with the rest of the squad to Miami where he won his second cap in the 2-2 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday night. Manchester United's Phil Jones – who Stones would have replaced if he had not recovered from a shoulder injury – made it through the match and is fully fit.

 

The FA has confirmed that Stones will be returning to England when the squad flies to Brazil following tomorrow's final warm-up match against Honduras. He cannot be called back into the squad after that point even if someone were to be injured.

 

"It's been such a good experience but now I'll go away and watch the lads from back home," said Stones.

 

"But it has given me that hunger to keep on improving and hopefully, when that next England squad comes around, I'll get the call. I'll never forget that moment at Wembley and it still feels surreal.  To make my debut two days after my birthday as well topped off the week.

 

"It was nice to have the family down and it was a massive day for me."

 

England manager Roy Hodgson was happy with the former Thurlstone Primary School pupil. "The friendlies gave us a good chance to see John Stones which was nice," said Hodgson. "John has impressed me very much. He has been very good."

 

But Hodgson's decision to select Jones and Chris Smalling ahead of Stones has not been popular with some. Former England striker Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter on Friday: "Ah John Stones makes his debut.  A sign that there are still concerns over Phil Jones' fitness. I think Stones will prove a better player."