German call-up for Dundee

When Berti Vogts called Sean Dundee into the German national squad yesterday, it was another step in a career which has taken the South African-born player to the top of the Bundesliga goal-scoring list.

Dundee began the 1995/96 season classed as an amateur with Karlsruhe, who signed him after spells with Stuttgart Kickers and Ditzingen.

Dundee, now 24, quickly established himself in the first team and had scored 16 league goals by the end of the season.

"He's a dynamic young man, a great header of the ball and totally selfish. All strikers are totally selfish," Vogts said after announcing the squad, but added: "I hope he keeps his carefree nature."

Dundee earned a call-up to the South African national squad in December 1995 - ironically the match was against Germany - but withdrew because of injury.

Media reports suggested the injury was a convenient excuse for a player who had posters of Jurgen Klinsmann and Thomas Hassler on his bedroom wall as a boy and dreamed of playing for Germany.

When it became clear Vogts was interested, Dundee, although of non-German origin, took advantage of a special fast-track procedure for cases of "public interest" to apply for a German passport.

The issue became something of a political football, with South African politicians accusing Dundee of turning his back on his homeland while their German counterparts asked why a football player should get special treatment.

Away from that controversy, though, the unassuming striker's fortunes have gone from strength to strength. He was voted Player of the Year in 1996 by his fellow professionals and is the Bundesliga's leading scorer this season with 14 goals so far.

n Brian Horton, the Huddersfield Town manager, arrived in Italy yesterday with the Nationwide League Under-21 team for tonight's annual game against their Serie B counterparts in Sampdoria's Luigi Ferraris.

Horton is determined the Italians will not record their first win in three matches since these meetings were given an Under-21 age limit in 1995.

"England's Under-21s beat Italy last week, but unfortunately we lost the big one that mattered at Wembley," Horton said.

"But this is a chance to show the Italian people that we are capable at every level, from full international through to the Under-21s and into the Football League - a chance to show that English football is not all about the Premiership.

"It's been a good year for the Nationwide League, with Stockport through to the semi-finals of the Coca-Cola Cup and either Chesterfield or Wrexham assured of a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

"That's magnificent for the game. It shows that lower division clubs can still compete on the field despite the Premiership getting stronger and stronger in financial terms. Although I want everybody involved to enjoy it, I also want to go home having won the game."

With his goalkeepers Chris Day and Richard Wright dropping out of the original party along with Lee Crooks, Darren Eadie and James Scowcroft, Horton has drafted in Kelvin Davis, of Luton, the Norwich pair of Andy Marshall and Danny Mills, as well as turning to his own club side for Ian Lawson.