‘Fantastic’ - Sheffield Wednesday great Lee Bullen heaps praise on England’s hat-trick hero George Hirst

George Hirst

George Hirst

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Owls coach Lee Bullen has hailed George Hirst following the young striker’s “fantastic” goal-scoring exploits at international level.

Hirst grabbed a hat-trick as England thrashed Cuba 7-1 in the Toulon tournament at the Stade D’Honneur Marcel Roustan Salon De Provence in France last night.

The 18-year-old’s treble takes his tally for the season to 39 in all competitions for club and country.

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Bullen told The Star: “It’s fantastic for the kid. George has gone away with England and done tremendously well.

“It doesn’t matter what opposition you are up against at international level; you’re playing against top quality players so it is fantastic for George to get a hat-trick.”

George Hirst

George Hirst

Wednesday midfielder Barry Bannan was also full of praise for Hirst.

Bannan tweeted: “Well done to @9Hirsty on his hatters for England in the Toulon tournament hopefully many more to come.”

Hirst, who has made two senior appearances for Wednesday, is contracted to the Championship club until next summer. Negotiations remain on-going his long-term future.

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Bullen, speaking after a question and answer session organised by Steel City Memorabilia to raise funds for Bluebell Wood Hospice, said: “George is doing great and is a fantastic asset for the football club.

“He loves his football and I think the reason he is scoring so many goals is because of the education he’s had at the football club.

“All the academy coaches and first-team staff believe in the kid.

“I don’t think he can be at any better place than Sheffield Wednesday right now.”

Hirst led the way for the Three Lions side, who consisted of a mixture of age groups from the Under-18s, 19s and 20s. Harvey Barnes (2), David Brooks and Martell Taylor-Crossdale were also on target.

England will now face Japan in their last pool match on Sunday, having already secured top spot in Group A and qualified for the next phase of the competition. They beat Angola 1-0 in their opener.

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