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By ESPN Staff

Scotland call up Bardsley for Czech qualifier

Sunderland right-back Phil Bardsley has been called into the Scotland squad ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier against Czech Republic.

The Scottish Football Association has confirmed that the defender will join up with Craig Levein's side for the first time, after spurning the chance to play for England or the Republic or Ireland, due to qualifying through a Glaswegian father.

Levein said:"It's been a bit rushed to be honest. We've been aware of his eligibility for a while but it was just a matter of finding out whether he was going to commit to Scotland.

"We found out he had a change of heart from a couple of years ago and he's desperate to be involved. He is another young but experienced player who fits the profile and I'm pleased to have him on board.''

Bardsley said: "I got the call on Monday and it was a bit of a mad rush yesterday [Tuesday] getting the paperwork sorted. I'm delighted to be here and hopefully I'll be involved in the games.

"I'm in shape, I trained today and I'm raring to go if called upon. I'm proud and my father and my family will be proud. They will be delighted I'm here and part of this campaign."

Bardsley, 25, began his career at Manchester United but failed to make the breakthrough at Old Trafford and, after several loan moves to clubs including Burnley, Rangers and Aston Villa, he signed for Sunderland in January 2008.


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