RYAN SHAWCROSS will be trying to push England manager Roy Hodgson for a call-up in the near future... as he begins his third season as Stoke City club captain.
The centre-half received his only international recognition when Fabio Capello included him in his squad for a friendly against Egypt back in February 2010.
However, the 24-year-old’s strong leadership and commanding performances at the back for the Potters will surely mean he’s on Hodgson’s radar for forthcoming World Cup qualification campaign.
Shawcross was almost ever-present at the heart of Stoke City’s defence last season, missing only two league matches at Bolton Wanderers and Manchester City – with the results in those games, 0-5 and 0-3 defeats, illustrating how crucial the Chester-born defender has become.
He has made 140 starts in the league since making his loan move from Manchester United permanent in January 2008, helping the Potters to promotion from the Championship at the end of his first season.
He has since played a pivotal role is helping to establish the club in the Premier League, forming a formidable partnership with fellow central defender Robert Huth.
Like many of his team-mates at the Britannia Stadium, Shawcross learnt his trade as a youth player at Old Trafford, though he never managed a league appearance for the club.
He was loaned out to United’s Belgian feeder club, Royal Antwerp, for the second half of the 2006-07 season, where he went onto make 22 appearances, before joining City for an initial six-month loan spell.
He scored on his debut in the first game of the season to secure a vital victory against Cardiff City.