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Page last updated at 18:03 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 19:03 UK

Driver 'delight' at England call

Hearts winger Andrew Driver
Driver scored four goals for Hearts over the last season

Andrew Driver has told BBC Scotland that the chance to join England's U21 squad was too good to turn down.

The Hearts winger, who has lived in Scotland for most of his life, was included for June's European Championship in Sweden.

"I'm delighted to be involved. It's exciting to be named alongside so many top players," Driver told BBC Scotland.

"I know there's been talk of me playing for Scotland but as it stands the rules don't allow it, which is unfortunate."

Driver, 21, was born in Oldham but has lived in Edinburgh since his family moved north when he was 11.

He represented Scotland's schoolboys, scoring against England, but has been frustrated at his ineligibility to play at a higher level for his adopted country.

The Scottish FA have proposed to change the rules governing eligibility - which currently extend to blood grandparents - to encompass players who have had at least five years of schooling in that country.

He will provide us with natural width which is something we needed in the squad

England U21 coach Stuart Pearce

The other three home nations have agreed to the change, but it has yet to be ratified by Fifa.

The SFA chief executive Gordon Smith had said he would be 'disappointed' if Driver chose to represent England as he hopes the rules will be changed in time for the coming season.

But Driver, who was in excellent form this season, said that the England U21 opportunity was too good to refuse.

Should he take to the field for England he will not be able to represent Scotland when the eligibility change eventually does come into effect.

Coach Stuart Pearce's 23-man squad includes English Premier League stars such as Arsenal striker Theo Walcott, James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa, and Manchester City's Micah Richards.

Pearce said: "Andrew has benefited from Aaron Lennon's injury in a way and has come off a good season with Hearts up in Scotland.

"He will provide us with natural width which is something we needed in the squad alongside the likes of Adam Johnson and James Milner."



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see also
England Under-21s hit by injuries
01 Jun 09 |  Internationals
Driver set for England U21 call
15 May 09 |  Hearts


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