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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 November, 2003, 10:21 GMT
Pearson's surprise selection
Stephen Pearson
Pearson has made over 50 appearances for Motherwell
Mortherwell's Stephen Pearson has said he thought his call-up to the Scotland squad for the Euro 2004 play-off against the Netherlands was a wind-up.

The 21-year-old midfielder thought he would be joining Rainer Bonhof's Under-21 side for their double header with Croatia.

When team-mate Steven Hammell told him Berti Vogts had included him in the squad for the crunch games he was convinced he was having his leg pulled.

But Pearson, who it is believed will be a target for Celtic when the transfer window reopens in January, then saw the squad announcement on BBC Ceefax and realised it was true.

Pearson said: "This is unbelievable news and I'm absolutely delighted.

"At first I thought Steven was playing a joke on me and having a laugh. He broke the news that I was in the squad but I refused to believe him.

"It wasn't until I went home and checked the squad announcement that I knew it was for real.

"I was expecting a call-up to the Under-21 squad for the play-off against Croatia but to be called up for two such vital matches is the ultimate honour.

"This caps a magnificent season for me and it's a wonderful feeling."

The first leg is at Hampden Park on 15 November, with the return fixture taking place four days later.



Ruud made to wait
07 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Lambert to miss Dutch test
05 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Scots have Dutch courage
19 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Tough tests for Scotland and Wales
13 Oct 03  |  Internationals
Vogts curses luck of draw
13 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Tartan Army optimistic
13 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Vogts promotes Pearson
07 Nov 03  |  Scotland

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