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Ruddy withdrawal opens England door for Birmingham rookie

| 25.05.2012

After capping a terrific season with Norwich City with a first ever England call-up, goalkeeper John Ruddy is now experiencing heartache after a broken finger has ended his Euro 2012 dream.

Ruddy sustained the injury during training with the national side, ahead of this Saturday’s trip to Oslo to meet Norway in a friendly match.

He will still travel with the squad to that game after being selected, but will obviously be unable to compete, and must wait longer to earn his first international cap.

His replacement in the squad will raise a few eyebrows meanwhile.

19-year-old Birmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland has been selected in Ruddy’s place, though his experience at the top level is non-existent.

His professional career appearances total 24, and each of these has come on loan at League Two side Cheltenham across the course of the past two seasons.

That said, Butland has competed at every youth level for England from under-16s to under-20s, though his drafting into the first time squad comes prior to him making his under-21s bow.

Butland will draw confidence from the fact that current England number one Joe Hart was residing at League Two Shrewsbury when the same age as him too.

In possession of undoubted talent, the youngster must hope he is given the chance to showcase the sort of form that has earned him such rave reviews on loan at Whaddon Road.

Other England news comes in the form of Danny Welbeck’s continued injury troubles, which again rendered him unable to train yesterday.

Andy Carroll is therefore expected to start away to Norway, and in the tournament’s opening matches should Welbeck’s condition not improve by then.

Glen Johnson and Scott Parker are other concerns, though Johnson’s toe infection should have cleared up by the time Euro 2012 kicks off.

Parker’s fitness is less certain, though he did complete an intensive training session with the squad yesterday.



John Klee