Foster takes England sabbatical

BY foxsports • May 11, 2011

Birmingham and England goalkeeper Ben Foster has revealed he is taking an indefinite break from international football.

The 28-year-old has been the number two to Manchester City's Joe Hart since last year's World Cup but has had a series of injury problems and has made the decision to benefit his club career.

Foster told Birmingham's official website: "Performing at the highest level game in, game out, and particularly when there's been as many matches as there have been this season, really takes it out of your body."

Foster's decision, which he insists is reversible, comes exactly a year after he was left out of the England squad for the World Cup by coach Fabio Capello.

He said: "It's no secret that I've had a few niggling injuries and that I've had to pull out of the past few England squads because of that.

"I've spoken to the management team and coaches here at Blues and told them what I want to do but it's also very important that I say just how much I have loved playing for England and being part of the set-up.

"I've enjoyed my time with England and am certainly not closing a door on the international side of things forever but this is the right thing for me to do right now in terms of club football.

"Inevitably every time I've had the opportunity to give my body a rest there has been an international fixture and the demands that come with that.

"In Joe (Hart) England have a goalkeeper who is extremely talented and a top guy and he is an excellent custodian for the national side to have. I have no doubt he is going to go on to be one of the greatest.

"But this is the right decision for me as I want to prolong my club career for as long as possible."

Foster rose to prominence with Manchester United after joining the Red Devils from Stoke in 2005.

The goalkeeper made only a handful of first-team appearances for Sir Alex Ferguson's side but impressed during two seasons on loan at Watford and in United's 2009 Carling Cup victory.

He moved to Birmingham last May in a deal thought to be worth £6million, and has been arguably Blues' most impressive player this season, helping them win the Carling Cup final against Arsenal in February.

Foster made his England debut in a 1-0 defeat by Spain in February 2007 while his last appearance came in a 1-0 loss to Brazil in November 2009.

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