England’s number two goalkeeper Ben Foster has announced he is taking an indefinite break from internationals to focus on his club career.The Birmingham City shot-stopper has represented his nation in goal on just five occasions – debuting in 2007 – and his most recent appearance was in England’s 2-1 friendly loss to France in November.
Foster has been injury-prone in recent times, and the 28-year-old said he will make himself unavailable for national selection to focus on maintaining his spot at Birmingham, who are beginning to prepare for a Europa League campaign next term after their League Cup triumph.
“Performing at the highest level game in, game out and particularly when there’s been as many matches as there have been this season really takes it out of your body,” Foster told Birmingham’s official website.
“It’s no secret that I’ve had a few niggling injuries and that I’ve had to pull out of the past few England squads because of that.”
“I’ve spoken to the management team and coaches here at Blues and told them what I want to do but it’s also very important that I say just how much I have loved playing for England and being part of the set-up.”
Foster did not rule out a return to the international scene, but said he was not leaving the proud football nation in the lurch, stating that Manchester City custodian Joe Hart was more than capable of holding the reins in goal for England.
“I’ve enjoyed my time with England and am certainly not closing a door on the international side of things forever but this is the right thing for me to do right now in terms of club football,” Foster said.
“Inevitably every time I’ve had the opportunity to give my body a rest there has been an international fixture and the demands that come with that.”
“In Joe, England have a goalkeeper who is extremely talented and a top guy and he is an excellent custodian for the national side to have. I have no doubt he is going to go on to be one of the greatest.”