PETER CROUCH will be eager to prove new England coach Roy Hodgson wrong in his judgement by hitting the goals trail again in his second season with Stoke City.
Despite his excellent form for the Potters in the 2011-12 campaign and his highly impressive record at international level, the Club record £10 million signing from Tottenham Hotspur was overlooked for the Euro 2012 Finals as Andy Carroll was selected instead.
The 6ft 7in frontman made a big impact in his first season at the Britannia Stadium, none more so than his spectacular volley in the draw with Manchester City, and his 14 goals in all competitions led to him emerging as a deserved winner of the Player of the Year award.
Crouch has returned to his roots after a much-travelled career, having been born a short distance up the road at Macclesfield, although he was just one year old when he moved on to start a journey that has seen him enjoy considerable success at all levels.
The Potters became his seventh club in August 2011, but he has also had two spells at both Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth during that time, as well as loan spells at Dulwich Hamlet, IFK Hasselholm and Norwich City in the early days of his career.
One of the high points of his career came at Liverpool where, after making a £7 million move from Southampton, he helped the Merseysiders win the FA Cup in 2006 and then 12 months later reach the Champions League Final where they lost to AC Milan.
Crouch featured for England in the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany and was a regular at international level during the reigns of Steve McLaren and Fabio Capello. He has scored 22 goals in 42 appearances for his country up to now.
Prior to his move to the Britannia Stadium, the 31-year-old striker was instrumental in the resurgence of Tottenham under Harry Redknapp, most notably scoring the winner which secured their Champions League qualification in 2010 and then hitting seven goals in 10 appearances as they reached the quarter finals of Europe’s premier competition.