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Parkinson hails "true leader" Marriott after skipper's England call-up

The Robins' vice-captain will win his first cap when England C take on Wales on Tuesday March 19th.

Altrincham midfielder Isaac Marriott has described his pride at earning a first-ever England call-up and vowed to make the most of it when he steps out against Wales later this month.

The Robins' vice-captain, who is currently leading the side in the absence of injured skipper James Jones, will win his first cap when England C take on the Welsh in their latest friendly fixture at Llanelli FC's Stebonheath Park stadium on Tuesday March 19th.

He learned of his inclusion in Paul Fairclough's 16-man squad moments after driving Alty on to a much-needed 2-1 victory over Dorking Wanderers at The J.Davidson Stadium on Tuesday night, a result that ended a five-match losing run and revived hopes of a place in the play-offs.

Relishing the prospect of transferring his dynamic form on to the international stage, the 24-year old said: "It's a huge honour to be called up for my country, and it put the seal on what was already a fantastic effort by everyone, the fans included, to get over the line against Dorking and secure a vital win.

"I’m buzzing to be part of an England squad, and I’m so pleased that all the hard work I've put in has been recognised. It will be a proud moment pulling on an England shirt, and I’m looking forward to joining up with the rest of the squad and hopefully getting the chance to show everyone what I’m capable of."

Action from Tuesday night's crucial win over Dorking

Alty boss Phil Parkinson added his congratulations by saying: "What an amazing achievement for Isaac to be selected for England C. It's a very proud moment for him, his family and the football club. He’s improved immeasurably since joining us, and I couldn’t think of a more fitting reward for his professionalism and dedication.

"He’s picked up the captaincy from James this season and never looked back. A true leader in the making - well done skipper!"

Alty's return to winning ways in midweek was shrouded in controversy, as Regan Linney was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident in the 45th minute, leaving the Robins with 10 men for the whole of the second half.

They had led 2-0 after only 11 minutes, but the sending-off changed the entire complexion of the game and forced Alty into a rearguard action after Dorking reduced the arrears with a penalty on the hour.

The 10 men saw it through in a way Parkinson hailed as "heroic" to stand themselves in good stead for two upcoming home games in quick succession against Woking on Saturday (3pm) and York City on Tuesday (7.45pm).

But they will be without in-form striker Linney after an appeal by the club against his red card was rejected, meaning he will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect.