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Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Thursday, 7 May 2009 14:22 UK

Shawcross keen to impress Pearce

Ryan Shawcross
Shawcross has grown three inches in height since joining Stoke in 2008

Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross has said he is hoping to impress England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce over the final three games of the season.

The towering 21-year-old centre-half is determined to make the European Championships in Sweden.

He told BBC Radio Stoke: "I'm trying to impress Stuart Pearce to get into that tournament, that was one of my aims at the start of the season.

"There's a lot of good players, like Micah Richards, so it's tough."

The former Manchester United trainee has former a formidable partnership with Abdoulaye Faye since he was recalled to the team in October, and has made 26 Premier League appearances this season, scoring three times.

My muscles can't keep up with my bones, it's making me sore all the time - my back, knees and hamstrings

Stoke's Ryan Shawcross on his growth spurt

"I'd be delighted to get picked, it would be a long summer, I've got a baby on the way, and there wouldn't be much time for holidays. But as a footballer that's what you want because it means you're playing well," he said.

Shawcross was 6ft 2ins when he signed permanently for Stoke in January 2008, but now measures at 6ft 5ins.

"At 20 you usually stop, but I've had a little growth spurt. My muscles can't keep up with my bones, it's making me sore all the time - my back, knees and hamstrings. I think I've grown five millimetres in the last month."

Shawcross was the Potters' record signing when he joined from Manchester United for £2m.



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