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Stoke winger Etherington: I have been close to England call

Matthew Etherington has shrugged off talk of an England call-up.

The flying Stoke winger has got his old zip back from the days at West Ham when he was considered an international prospect. But now the 28 year-old, who will be facing Portsmouth on Sunday, is just content to have found a new lease of life since his move to the Potteries.

However, he is at least prepared to discuss England even if he believes there is still a long way to go, saying: "It is every player's ambition to play for their country and I am no different. But personally, I think that is a bit far away for me to genuinely think about."

He added: "I know for a fact there have been times when I have been close when my form had been good at West Ham.

"But I don't want to talk myself up for England. I think I could look a bit stupid, because there is a lot of quality in my position."

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