Iwelumo call-up for Burley's oldies
Friday 03 October 2008
The Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Chris Iwelumo aims to become an established member of Scotland's old brigade after winning his first call-up at the age of 30. The former St Mirren forward was yesterday named in George Burley's pool for the World Cup qualifier against Norway on 11 October.
Iwelumo, who was born in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, feared he had lost his chance after a number of false starts. Berti Vogts had planned to name him in his squad for the Far East tour in 2002 but Stoke City's qualification for the play-offs ended his chance.
Six years on, Iwelumo is looking to follow the likes of Paul Hartley and Graham Alexander by developing into a regular Scotland player late in his career. "I was having a look at the last squad and there were probably four players over 30 in there," Iwelumo said. "It's good to have that experience but this is a first for me.
"There are some great players in the squad and hopefully I'll be able to show what I'm about. It has been a long time coming but I'm just delighted it's happened. It's every player's dream to represent their country, or at least be involved, and hopefully I'll get a chance. It's just a case of getting there and trying to impress, and if I can, maybe I can stay in there."
Iwelumo's fears of missing the chance to represent his country increased when Alex McLeish resigned as Scotland manager only weeks after the striker had played in a B international against the Republic of Ireland last year.
Iwelumo has scored eight goals since joining Wolves from Charlton in the summer but he feared a three-match ban which resulted from a controversial red card against Preston North End would hit his renewed hopes. But the man of many clubs was delighted when the Wolves manager, Mick McCarthy, sent him a text message with the good news while he was playing golf. "I didn't know what to do with myself but I upped my game on the golf course, that's for sure!" Iwelumo said. "I thought I might have as good a chance as ever this time around although obviously I never knew if the suspension would end it. "
Burley also handed a surprise recall to the Bristol City left-back Jamie McAllister, while the Birmingham City striker Garry O'Connor – who has been injured – makes way.
Burley said: "You are looking for players in form, players who are playing regularly. Chris comes into that category – he has scored eight goals. I saw a lot of him when he played for Colchester. This season, under Mick McCarthy, he has added being a target player and added goals."
The number of clubs Chris Iwelumo has played for over the last 10 years.
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