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Delighted Alec gives the thumbs up to Ben's World Cup call-up

28 May 2006

Watford goalkeeping coach Alec Chamberlian has said he is "surprised, but delighted" to hear that fellow 'keeper Ben Foster has been called up to England's World Cup squad, following the injury to Robert Green.

Ben, 23, who has been in outstanding form for the Hornets during a season that climaxed in Cardiff with promotion to the Premiership, will be one of the stand-by players when the squad leaves for Germany, but has joined up with the squad as they make their final preparations.

"It was a surprise to hear the news," said Alec, who was also Ben's number two during the memorable season. "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 fairytale 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 Foster to spend next season on loan with them fter such a successful first spell. And Alec believes a week's training with England will be of huge benefit to Foster.

He added: "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," he said. "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."

Green, who plays for Norwich, suffered a serious groin injury during the England B international against Belarus at Reading. Liverpool reserve Scott Carson will replace Green as the third goalkeeper, with Ben on stand-by if either Carson, David James or Paul Robinson are injured.

"It's been a crazy season and a crazy last 10 days," said Ben. "We won promotion in the biggest match of my career and then this has come. It's incredible and I'm really enjoying it."

Written by Peter Jones, of the PR consultancy Red Alert Media.

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