Ben Foster Ends England Retirement

Big Ben's Back

Ben Foster has ended his international retirement, West Brom manager Steve Clarke confirmed on Thursday.

Foster made himself unavailable for England duty for an indefinite period in May 2011 to concentrate on his club career, but added he was "not closing a door on the international side forever".

“Ben spoke to me about it last week,” Clarke said at his press conference ahead of the Baggies' trip to Chelsea this weekend.

“His reasons are good. He’s had his little time out that he wanted to spend with his young family, which you can understand and respect.

“He also had some injury problems that he felt needed time during the season to help him recover and get from game to game.

“His family is a bit older now and I think he’s getting a few days off in the international break and finding his kids are at school, so he has a little bit more spare time on his hands.

“And he’s obviously got ambition as well. He wants to make himself available for his country again."

Foster has played five times for England

With Norwich stopper John Ruddy still out injured, Foster's decision to end his exile almost certainly guarantees him a squad berth for the March World Cup qualifiers away at San Marino and Montenegro.

England coach Roy Hodgson managed Foster last season during his year-long loan from Birmingham at the Hawthorns. The 29-year-old joined West Brom on a permanent basis for £4m in the summer.

Foster has won just five caps for England, with his last appearance for the Three Lions coming in the 2-1 Wembley defeat to France in November 2010.

He made his debut for England against Spain in February 2007 under Steve McClaren, having impressed on loan at Watford from Manchester United.

Despite a string of fine saves during a run in the United first-team in the injured Edwin van der Sar's absence three-and-a-half-years ago, Foster made several costly errors which led to his £6m sale to Birmingham in 2010. Van der Sar immediately regained his place when fit again.

He was however named man of the match in United's 2009 League Cup triumph over Tottenham and won the accolade again in 2011 when Birmingham shocked Arsenal with a 2-1 final victory.


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