England opportunity knocks for shocked Campbell as Pearce opts for Sunderland striker

23 February 2012 11:14
If Fraizer Campbell's England call-up was a surprise, no one was more shocked than the Sunderland striker.

The former Manchester United trainee was actually taking part in a routine drugs test with team-mate Michael Turner as interim England coach Stuart Pearce named him in his squad, just five games into his comeback from his second knee ligament injury.

The call-up: Fraizer Campell was surprised and delighted by the news

Campbell only returned to the Sunderland side at the end of last month, dragging them back into the FA Cup tie at home to neighbours Middlesbrough with an equaliser after coming of the bench and he kept them in the competition. It was exactly 500 days since Campbell had suffered the heartache of his second serious career-threatening injury.

Since then he has started just two games, including one as a right winger, and has yet to complete 90 minutes. He was back on the bench for the FA Cup victory over Arsenal last weekend but is likely to keep fit again, on-loan Gunners striker Nicklas Bendtner out of the side to face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns this weekend.

Huddersfield-born Campbell, 24, initially tweeted his delight after learning of his call-up following his drugs tests at Sunderland's Academy of Light training ground.

'Absolutely delighted to be part of the England team,' he wrote. 'Been the longest and hardest 18 months of my life and feel truly honoured to be given a chance. Thanks for all your positive tweets means a lot!'

And he told BBC Radio Newcastle: 'I was surprised. Just delighted and honoured to be part of it.

'It's always been an ambition of mine. From ten years old, all you think about is playing for your favourite club and playing for your country. Any footballer in the league would be lying if he didn't say that so it's massive really. It's brilliant.

Source: Daily_Mail