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Page last updated at 15:29 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 16:29 UK

England call is surreal - Bullard

Andorra v England Venue: Olympic Stadium, Barcelona Date: Saturday, 6 September Kick-off: 1900 BST Coverage: Live on BBC Radio 5 Live & online

Bullard enjoying his England dream

Fulham midfielder Jimmy Bullard admits his call-up to the England squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia is "surreal".

Bullard suffered a career-threatening knee injury in September 2006 and only returned to action in January 2008.

"To finally get the call is a dream come true, a great honour and a bit surreal," Bullard, 29, told BBC 5 Live.

"I had a lot of dark times and I thought I might even need to hang my boots up."

The uncapped Bullard was the most surprising name in Fabio Capello's squad for England's upcoming World Cup qualifiers, the first of which, against Andorra, takes place in Barcelona on Saturday.

However Bullard, who was instrumental in keeping Fulham in the Premier League last season, said he would not be overawed if called into action by Capello.


"I'll give it my best shot if I'm called upon," said Bullard, who started his career with non-league side Gravesend & Northfleet before signing for West Ham for 30,000 in 1999.

"I remember it like it was yesterday, playing for Gravesend and Northfleet, earning 60 a week.

"It's been a long way round and to finally get a call-up by your country is great. It's a great feeling to be playing alongside the world's best.

"I'm not daunted or nervous. I'm most comfortable when I'm on the pitch playing football and I'll answer all the questions when I'm called upon."

Bullard added that his belief had never wavered during his 16 months on the sidelines, although he conceded that playing again "doesn't seem real" at times.

"I've always had the belief and I owe my dad a lot for that," said Bullard. "He always said, 'always play your best, you never know who's watching'.

"It seems like yesterday I was in the gym at the Fulham training ground watching my team-mates train outside, but I finally got through it. I owe my doctor [Richard Steadman] so much - what a man."

see also
Bullard called into England squad
31 Aug 08 |  Internationals
England quartet sit out training
02 Sep 08 |  Internationals
Hargreaves to miss England games
29 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Gerrard misses England qualifiers
28 Aug 08 |  Liverpool
Terry expects England improvement
21 Aug 08 |  Internationals
Terry appointed England captain
19 Aug 08 |  Internationals
England 2-2 Czech Rep
18 Aug 08 |  Internationals
McClaren appeals to England fans
29 Mar 07 |  Internationals
Andorra 0-3 England
28 Mar 07 |  Internationals

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