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UK VOICE: England coach defends Sterling selection
2012-09-11 10:34:41 | (0 Comments)
England head coach Roy Hodgson denied that he deliberately picked one of the Premier League’s most promising players, to make sure that they did not get lured away by another country.
Raheem Sterling - file photo
Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling was called into the Three Lions squad, following the withdrawal of Arsenal’s Theo Walcott through illness.
Sterling, 17, was born in Kingston, Jamaica and the Reggae Boyz national team manager Theodore Whitmore recently declared that he would like the teenager to play for the Caribbean island.
However, Hodgson insisted that Sterling was chosen due to his form and not because of any other factor.
"Raheem might have Jamaican roots but he has been born and brought up in England and has got the ability to play for the England national team," said Hodgson.
"I'd like to think he would prefer that and would choose us over Jamaica but if that is his desire, we would have to accept that.
"I've not invited him here because I'm worried about overtures from other countries but because he is a potential England player of the near future, not distant future."
Realising that Sterling’s selection has created plenty of media attention for the youngster, Hodgson commented: "When you bring in a young player who has only burst on to the scene in the last couple of games, I'm causing headlines to be written. I understand and take that responsibility.
"I've spoken to Brendan Rodgers and explained the thinking behind him coming in. I'll also make it clear to Raheem.
"He will be pretty lucky to get close to the field because there were plenty of players who were chosen in front of him.
"I can only hope he takes it in the right way. He mustn't think he's become part of the set-up and has made it.”
He added: "He has to try, next time, to make sure he is one of the original 23."
Source: The Gleaner/Power 106 News
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