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Page last updated at 16:49 GMT, Wednesday, 27 May 2009 17:49 UK

Collison dismisses England talk

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY: WALES v ESTONIA
Venue: Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli Date: Friday, 29 May Kick-off: 1930 BST Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Wales MW, Radio Cymru and the BBC Sport website


Collison relishing end of season

Jack Collison has rejected suggestions he could follow Rhys Williams in declining to play for Wales having represented them at age-group level.

Collison, already capped four times in friendly games by Wales, is to put the issue beyond doubt by facing Azerbaijan in Wales' 6 June World Cup qualifier.

"Next weekend I can put an end to all that speculation," said Collison.

"There's never been doubt in my mind, I've really enjoyed it and been proud to play for my grandfather's country."

The highly rated West Ham midfielder, 20, is dual qualified as he was born in Watford and his grandfather was born in the Blaenau Gwent area.

There's such a big Welsh contingent at West Ham, if I'd done something like change my mind [on playing for Wales], I wouldn't have dared go in for training

Jack Collison

Collison can change nationality if he has not played a competitive senior Wales international and is under 21.

Earlier this month Middlesbrough centre-back Williams, 20, chose to represent his Australian homeland, having previously won eight Wales under-21 caps and a call into manager John Toshack's senior squad.

Collison, named West Ham's young player of the year at the weekend, is set to face Estonia in Friday's friendly in Llanelli as he continues his comeback from a serious knee injury.

"There's such a big Welsh contingent at West Ham, if I'd done something like change my mind [on playing for Wales], I wouldn't have dared go in for training," said Collison.

"It has been a really enjoyable season for me, I almost went out on loan to Peterborough but because of injuries in the squad, that did not happen.

606: DEBATE

"Since then there has been a change of manager and I have been given my chance in the first team, and ended it winning the club's young player of the year award which is a great honour.

"I was 24 hours away from going to Peterborough, I was due to travel there but the previous day Mark Noble picked up a training injury and I was pulled out of the move.

"It was very close, but it was not meant to happen and I always feel that things like that happen for a reason.

"Peterborough had a really good season anyway, and got promotion, so they didn't need me anyway!

"The new manager [Gianfranco Zola] arrived and gave me my chance, it has been a really big boost for me to play in the Premier League for most of the season, apart from the spell when I have been out injured.

"He gave me the opportunity and the confidence to go out and play to my best, and I am really enjoying it.

"My game is all about high energy and getting around midfield, but above all the manager wants us to play with a smile on our faces and that is always his philosophy."



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see also
Wales 1-0 Estonia
29 May 09 |  Internationals
Collison is 'committed' to Wales
13 May 09 |  Welsh
Australian Williams snubs Wales
14 May 09 |  Welsh
Collison savours Wales experience
23 Nov 08 |  Internationals
Young Collison hails Zola tuition
09 Feb 09 |  Internationals
Pick your Wales XI
05 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Wales' international fixtures
22 Aug 07 |  Internationals
Wales' results archive
10 Oct 05 |  Internationals
Country profile: Estonia
05 Aug 09 |  Country profiles
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Feb 09 |  Wales


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