England boss Fabio Capello has chosen to give eleven amateur Sunday league cloggers their international debuts this evening after so many Premiership stars pulled out of the pointless kickabout in Copenhagen.

Established players such as Lampard, Gerrard, Crouch and Agbonlahor all cried off from the meaningless friendly citing a variety of excuses, including an itchy big toe and because it ‘clashed with Waterloo Road’.

The infamously tempermental Italian still had a whole plethora of top-drawer players to choose from but he was so furious with the collective lack of interest from his squad of multi-millionaires that he stormed out of England’s training facility at Bisham Abbey to the boozer across the road. There he signed up their entire team on the spot.

Landlord of the Rose and Thistle Peter Southern told us ‘It was quite a shock I can tell you seeing this familiar face stride in during our busy lunch period. He ordered from our very reasonably priced menu – ricotta gnocchi as it happens – and then dropped the bombshell. He wanted to know if we had a team and when I proudly informed him we won the East Marlow District Cup last season he told me to get them all ready for Wednesday evening because they were going to Denmark to represent their country.’

‘Most of the lads thought it was a wind-up when I called them to be honest’, he added.

‘But now some are trying to secure boot deals whilst flicking through Heat magazine to see who’s single’

The England XL to face the Danes.

Ironically Capello still has withdrawals to contend with.

‘Wayne, our right-back, is flying to Magaluf at 4am the next morning so his missus put the kibosh on him going. And Big Geoff has been offered a foreigner plastering his mate’s extension so he couldn’t turn down an easy couple of hundred sovs with another nipper on the way. Jimmy ‘Dazzler’ Harris is also a doubt with a groin strain. He got it from banging the new barmaid last night after closing time. Hang on, you’re not going to print this are you? The lad got married last summer’.

It is believed that once Capello witnessed the standard of his new charges he immensely regretted his impetuous decision – one player allegedly vomited with exhaustion after twenty sit-ups – but because they are now registered there is little he can do.

So it was an unusually humble England gaffer who hosted a press conference this morning. His face, normally carved from pure granite, seemed to melt under the intense questioning from angry journalists and at one point there was even a flicker of human emotion.

‘It eez important to ‘av passion si? These boys…they ‘av beeg hearts’ was his best stab at a language he’s been learning now for three years.

He was eventually helped out by Director of Football Development Trevor Brooking who defended his bosses’ balmy strategy.

‘We need to encourage development at a grass roots level. We’ve all been saying that since old turniphead messed up our chances in ’94. And what better way than to promote young lads used to playing hungover on a boggy pitch and put them on the international stage? It gives them a wonderful opportunity to show everyone what they’re made of. Even if they are a bit rubbish’.

Brooking continued, ‘Having said that, the boy Davies out on the wing looks a bit tasty. I saw him do fifty keepy-ups in training earlier whilst puffing away on a Lambert and Butler. Even Franky Lampard would struggle to do that.’

Debutant goalkeeper – and new England skipper – Terry Hodges, a 45-year old shop fitter in the real world, said at the press jaunt,

‘It’s all a bit nerve-wracking really. I’m used to 20-stone toe-pokers bearing down on me, stinking of last night’s ale. To think that on Wednesday night I’ll be dealing with Arsenal striker Bendtner is all a bit much. At least if he blasts it over the bar I wont have to trample down a clump of nettles to get the ball back. That’s always a bonus’.