RYAN Sears has been called up to a Welsh under 21s squad following a meteoric rise through the ranks at English League One side Shrewsbury Town.

The 20 year old defender from Newtown will link up with his new national squad team-mates for a training camp at Newport’s Dragon Park from March 19-22.

Sears made the breakthrough into the Shrews first team this season having spent last season on loan with his hometown club in the JD Welsh Premier.

Sears praised Newtown Football Club for the role in his development having also spent a brief loan spell with Telford in the English non-league.

“I am really pleased to have been called up for the training camp,” said Sears. “It should be a great experience.

“Of course the aim is to keep on progressing an play for Wales so to get this call up is great.”

Sears added: “I am having a good season and have learnt a lot in being involved with the first team and learning from other coaches and players.”

Sears reflected on his time at Newtown fondly.

“It was my first experience of men’s football and I really enjoyed it,” said Sears. “The coaches and players at Newtown helped me a lot.”

The partnership between Shrewsbury Town and Newtown continues to blossom.

Midfielder George Hughes is currently on loan at Latham Park while defender Callum Roberts has proved one of the stars of the season since joining Newtown following his release by Shrewsbury at the end of last season.

Sears said: “Shrewsbury has a fantastic academy and develops its young players.”

Meanwhile Roberts will link up with Wales for a C international against England in Salford on Tuesday (7.45pm).

The Welshpool based defender will look to displace Barry Town United’s Chris Hugh in the starting XI having outshone his new Welsh team-mate as Newtown outclassed Barry Town United 3-0 in the JD Welsh Premier last week.

“It was a proud feeling when I received the call to say I had been selected,” said Roberts. “It was my aim at the start of the season so it is great to achieve this.

“The rivalry between the two nations is no secret and we will be desperate to win on the night.”

Former TNS goalkeeper Alex Ramsey, now at Caernarfon Town, ex-Welshpool Town and Caersws midfielder Chris Venables, now at Bala and Matthew Jones of Aberystwyth Town join TNS forward Aeron Edwards in representing Mid Wales and the borders in manager and pundit Mark Jones’ Welsh squad.