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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 26, 2006

Foster ends holiday to join up with England squad

Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster will fly back from Dubai to join the England World Cup squad following Thursday night's injury to Robert Green.

Foster - who helped Watford to promotion to the Barclays Premiership while on loan at Vicarage Road in the recently-concluded season - has been named on the stand-by list after Liverpool keeper Scott Carson's promotion to the main squad as a result of Norwich's Green sustaining a serious groin injury in the England B team's 2-1 defeat by Belarus.

Foster will fly back from his holiday on Saturday before linking up with Sven-Goran Eriksson's squad for training at United's Carrington headquarters on Sunday.

Former Everton and Sunderland goalkeeper Alec Chamberlain combines his playing duties at Watford with a role as goalkeeping coach - and he admitted neither he nor Foster had anticipated the call-up.

'It was a surprise to hear the news,' Chamberlain, 42, told PA Sport. 'But he has had a fantastic season and played such a major role for us, so in a way perhaps it is not a major shock.

'The whole season has been a fairy tale for him: joining Manchester United from Stoke last summer, helping Watford to promotion and then being called up by England.'

Watford hope United will allow the 23-year-old Foster to spend next season on loan with them after such a successful first year in Hertfordshire.

Foster's spell with England will enable him to train with some of the finest players in the country, something Chamberlain believes will benefit the goalkeeper greatly - as well as Watford should they be able to retain him.

Chamberlain continued: 'It is a week's training with world-class players. I'm sure it will be a bit surreal for him at first, but Ben is a level-headed lad.

'Being with England will help him if he is playing for Watford or Manchester United in the Premiership next season.

'Getting to know the England players will settle him down, and I'm sure he will rise to the challenge of training with those players.

'I expect him to cope with it. He has a long way to go, but he has all the attributes needed to be a top-class goalkeeper.'

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