International breaks are almost at the end for 2021 with just one matchday left for countries to qualify for the World Cup.
Being in League One and Two, Cheltenham Town and Forest Green Rovers aren’t used to having breaks during international periods, however with players from both AFC Wimbledon and Colchester United earning international call-ups both of Gloucestershire’s football league clubs were without a fixture this weekend.
The Robins’ last piece of action was against Gillingham in the FA Cup where a 1-1 draw at the Priestfield Stadium earned them a replay, which will be played tomorrow at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Likewise, Forest Green were last in action in the FA Cup, where they faced sixth division St. Albans City at Clarence Park. The Green Devils bowed out of the competition to the National League South side following a 3-2 defeat.
Despite both teams not being in action, former players from the Gloucestershire clubs have reported to international duty this break, here are six players, past and present, who have played for Cheltenham Town or Forest Green Rovers and represented their country:
Born in Swansea, Joe Rodon, 24, has risen up the football pyramid very quickly. Having been in Swansea’s Academy since the age of eight, Rodon is developing to be one of Wales’s key starters. However, before he made his international debut the centre-back had a loan spell with Cheltenham Town in the 2017/18 season whilst the Robins were in League Two, making 12 appearances.
A year after his time with the Robins, Rodon was called up to the Wales team for the first time, making his debut in September 2019 against Azerbaijan. Since then, he has gone on to win 21 caps for his country, appearing in all four games at Euro 2020 over the summer. He most recently appeared on Saturday in Wales’s World Cup qualifier win against Belarus at the Cardiff City Stadium.
Like Rodon, Joe Morrell also endured a loan spell with the Robins in the 2017/18 season making 38 appearances scoring three times. Morrell, 24, started his career with Bristol City going on loan four times before permanently switching to Luton Town in 2020.
Morrell was called up to the Wales team for the first time with Joe Rodon however, instead of making his debut against Azerbaijan he made his senior international debut in September 2019 against Belarus. Since then, he’s made 24 appearances for his nation, being included in this summer’s Euro 2020 team. He last appeared on Saturday, replacing Aaron Ramsey who scored twice against Belarus.
The only player on the list who is currently playing for the Gloucestershire clubs. Ebou Adams signed for Forest Green Rovers in 2019 making 94 appearances for the club in all competitions. The midfielder has scored eight goals for the Green Devils in his two years at the club.
Adams, 25, was born in Greenwich, London however he plays his international games with Gambia. Born to Gambian parents, he made his international debut in November 2017 against Morocco B, he has currently made eight appearances for Gambia.
Current Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez spent the 2018/19 season on loan at Forest Green Rovers. In the season he spent in League Two he made 17 appearances for the Rovers, however in January 2019 he was recalled from Brighton to replace Maty Ryan who was called up for Australia for the Asian Cup.
Since his days at the New Lawn, he has hit great heights, becoming a regular number one for Brighton and earning a call up to the Spain National team. Sanchez was apart of Spain’s Euro 2020 squad however remained an understudy to Unai Simon and didn’t make an appearance. He did make his international debut and only cap so far in September this year when he replaced Simon in the second half of a World Cup qualifier against Georgia in which Spain ran out 4-0 winners.
Born in Finland, O’Shaughnessy, 27, spent his early career abroad however, he made his way to England in 2014, signing for Brentford. In 2016 he signed for Cheltenham Town going on to make 49 appearances in 18 months at the club. The full-back scored four goals at the Robins but in January 2018 he made his return to HJK Helsinki.
The part Irishman made his senior debut for Finland in January 2016 in a 3-0 loss to Sweden. Since his debut, he has appeared 17 times scoring his first goal on Saturday in a 3-1 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina. O’Shaughnessy made the Euro 2020 team for Finland appearing three times in the summer’s competition.
Born in England, Kieffer Moore plays his international games with Wales. Moore spent his 2016 with then National League Forest Green Rovers and went on to make 33 appearances, scoring seven goals. The Welsh forward made his debut for the Rovers at centre-back in a 1-0 win over Braintree. Moore has gone on to play in the Championship, currently playing for Cardiff City.
Moore almost went on to play for China internationally, however it failed to materialise. He received his first Wales call up in May 2019 and scored his first goal against Slovakia in a Euro 2020 qualifying match. In 2021 he made the Euro 2020 squad and scored the equaliser in Wales’s opening game versus Switzerland. The striker made his last international appearance in October, where he scored the winner against Estonia.