TONY PULIS has backed his captain Ryan Shawcross to seize the chance at international level . . . if he is selected for England's World Cup qualifiers this month.
Pulis was delighted that Shawcross was rewarded for his excellent start to the season with a call-up into Roy Hodgson's squad for the San Marino and Poland games.
City's manager believes that it is fitting recognition for the progress made by the 25-year-old as both a central defender and as a leader in recent seasons.
"He's gradually got better year after year with us, so this is just reward for the performances he has been putting in week, week out for this Club," said Pulis.
"The kid is desperate to play for England; he just needs a chance at international level and I am sure that when he gets an opportunity, he will take it."
"We think the world of him at this Football Club. He's still only young, but he's captain of this Club and the other lads respect and look up to him.
He added: "I am delighted for Ryan and his family that he has received this call-up, but I'm also delighted for this Football Club. It is the first time since 1984 that a Stoke City player has been called up for a competitive England squad."
Shawcross received the best possible 25th birthday present today when Hodgson announced his squad for the World Cup qualifiers.
"I'm delighted to be selected for the England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifying matches," the defender told stokecityfc.com.
"The manager broke the news to me on the training ground this morning, so I am really happy and looking forward now to joining up with the squad."