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Perfect timing

Michael Dawson has had to bide his time over the past three years - now his return to the international fold could not have come at a better moment.

Michael Dawson has had to bide his time over the past three years - now his return to the international fold could not have come at a better moment.

After a fantastic season for Spurs on the domestic front, the popular defender has been named in Fabio Capello's provisional 30-man England squad for this summer's World Cup Finals.

‘Daws' has been in the international wilderness since Steve McClaren's time as national coach, and never won a senior Three Lions cap despite being involved in squads before that.

The 26-year-old has continued to perform consistently for Spurs since and admits it has always been a dream that he would one day get back in the reckoning.

But following an unforgettable campaign in which he was named by fans as our Player of the Year having played a key role in our Champions League qualification, often as captain, ‘Daws' could not be overlooked any longer.

All of a sudden, he finds himself with as good a chance as ever before to represent his country - and it could end up being on the biggest stage of all.

Shortly after the squad was named, ‘Daws' told "There had been a lot of talk about me being included, but in the back of your mind you're never sure whether it will happen or not. Luckily enough for me, it has this time.

"I've been involved with England a number of times over the years but have unfortunately never won a cap. It's been a few years since I've been in a squad now and it's good timing to be in the World Cup one. It's a great feeling to be named in it.

"Everyone knows what it would mean to me to play for England as I've said for many years when I haven't been involved or when I have been involved. I said I'd never give up on one day playing for my country and I never have.

"When you're playing for a top football club, as I have been this season on a regular basis and putting in good performances, there's always that chance of playing for England. Luckily enough, I've got the call."

‘Daws' now has the chance to impress Capello for the first time during a training camp in Austria and two friendlies against Mexico and Japan before the squad is whittled down to the final 23 for South Africa.

The Yorkshireman added: "I've never been in one of Mr Capello's squads before so I can go there and enjoy it, hopefully train well and there's two games which I hope to be involved in to get my first cap.

"I'll just go and do what I've been doing all year, then we'll see what happens. There are some top players in the provisional squad so we'll have to wait and see."

Finally, ‘Daws' took the chance to recognise the contribution Spurs fans have made to his call-up by constantly singing his praises - literally!

He concluded: "I can't thank the fans enough for this year. Certainly at the Chelsea game last month, Mr Capello was there and for the last 10 minutes I don't think the fans stopped signing my name.

"I'm sure the ‘Dawson for England' chant has helped me a little bit so thank you to all the fans who have done their bit!"