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Southampton (A) Sat 20 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Ossie Keen To Seize England Chance

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Leon Osman wants to make the most of his England call-up.

Last week, Osman, 31, was called up for Wednesday's friendly against Sweden after an impressive start to the season.

He has long been touted as an international pedigree player by those who watch Everton regularly but had been ignored by a succession of England managers until Roy Hodgson selected him.

"I'd stopped looking for my name in the squad every time, but I never gave up hope," said Osman, who also revealed the unorthodox manner in which he learned of the call-up.

"We were out on the training pitch and I saw a lot of staff start to filter to the side of the pitch," he continued.

"The next thing the manager called us into a circle and announced I was in the squad. I got a big cheer from the side, lots of head ruffles and kidney punches. It was a great moment."

The Everton academy product will now give everything on Wednesday to ensure his international career can be extended.

"I seem to have developed late in the game," he reflected.

"I didn't make my debut until I was 21. And I wasn't a regular until I was 23. I've done everything late so it doesn't surprise me that I'm here now."

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