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May 14, 2012

Foster turns down England approach

West Brom's on-loan goalkeeper Ben Foster intends to stay in international exile despite being asked by new England manager Roy Hodgson to change his mind.

Foster will stick to the decision he made 12 months ago to concentrate on club football, because he dislikes being parted from his family and the need to rest up during international breaks.

Even the presence of new England goalkeeping coach Dave Watson, who worked with Foster at his parent club Birmingham, has not prompted a U-turn by the player.

Hodgson names his Euro 2012 squad on Wednesday, and when asking if he was coming out of international retirement, Foster said: ''I'm still exactly the same. I've had a very good chat with the boss (Hodgson) this week and he has told me of his plans and stuff.

''I've always said all along my best form has been since I retired from England and I feel my body gets a good rest, and I feel it needs that rest as well.

''Not only that, the fact I've got a young family now, and the family is very big with me. I've got a three- and a four-year-old and they do take up a lot of my time.

''I make no secret, I miss them when I'm away with England. I prefer to spend that time with the family than being away from them.''

Foster admitted: ''Roy (Hodgson) tried hard to persuade me to change my mind. I get on with him so well and he is a fantastic manager. You learn so much off him.

''I know he will do a fantastic job for England. But he totally understood my reasons why and was very respectful of that and understood my decision and my way of thinking.

''I'm also delighted Dave Watson is now part of the England set-up. He worked with Joe Hart at Birmingham, and gets on very well with Joe, and I'd like to think I did well under him as well. But again he knew my reasons last season why I went into retirement and he understood it and was respectful of it.''

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