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Tony Pulis backs Ryan Shawcross for England recall

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26 Jul 2011 12:06:44

Tony Pulis backs Ryan Shawcross for England recall

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has confirmed Ryan Shawcross will remain as Potters captain this season and believes the defender can force his way back into the reckoning for England in time for next summer's European Championships. Shawcross captained the Staffordshire outfit to the FA Cup final last term, earning them a place in the Europa League. Pulis feels that with another successful campaign this time out, the 23-year-old - who received his only call-up to the senior England squad to date around 18 months ago for a friendly against Egypt but did not play - could find himself heading to Poland and Ukraine for Euro 2012. 'I'm giving him the captaincy back and I'm hoping he picks up the baton again and continues getting better every year,' Pulis said. 'It's a great honour for him and one he took on board when he was made captain last year. Shaw thing: Shawcross is aiming to win his first international cap this season 'He'sgot a long way to go still and understands that himself, but he has to come out of himself a bit more as he continues to grow as a footballer and a man. 'The big thing with Ryan is that he's got that carrot dangling in front of him in the shape of the European Championships next year. 'If he has a top, top season with us, there's no reason why he can't get into the England squad in time for that. 'Having Jonathan Woodgate around can only help him in that direction too.' And Shawcross has set his sights on an England recall and believes playing in Europe will enhance his chances. The former Manchester United trainee said: 'My aim is to get into the England team, and proving I can play onthe big stage in Europe will only help that. 'I've been to European nights at Old Trafford so I know what it's like but this will be my first experience of playing in Europe. I can't wait. 'We've proved we can play in the Premier League and Europe is the next step for us all. Hopefully I can play well and work hard and that will influence the manager into picking me. 'It's always tough to get into the England set-up because there are a lot of world-class players in my position but it's something I'm striving for.' Shawcross has set his sights on September's Euro 2012 qualifier with Wales for his England call up. He played in Welsh schoolboy sides having been raised in Flintshire but once he left education there was no provision for him to continue in that national set-up. Eyes on the prize: Fabio Capello's aim this season is qualification for Euro 2012 FIFA changed the rules in 2009 to allow anyone with five years of compulsory education in a country to be eligible to represent that nation. But by then Shawcross had already made his mind up about playing for England - and he will not alter that ambition despite the advances of Wales boss Gary Speed. 'I've not considered Wales,' Shawcross said. 'I have spoken to Gary Speed a couple of times and made my plans clear. He is a very good, young manager and I have a lot of respect for him. 'But I made my decision a long time ago when the current rule wasn't in place that I could play for Wales. Obviously he wants me to play for Wales but I made a decision and I'm going to stick with it.'  Shawcross hoping Potters European adventure will catch Fabio's eyePre-season round-up: Woodgate unscathed as Premier trio continue preparations Shawcross hoping Potters European adventure will catch Fabio's eyeAll the latest Stoke news, features and opinion


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