London: Rehabilitated Leeds United pair Jonathan Woodgate and Lee Bowyer were included in England’s squad on Monday for this weekend’s friendly against Portugal.
The 38-year-old David Seaman was omitted for England’s first game since their World Cup quarter-final exit, but coach Sven-Goran Eriksson explained he was keen to have a look at other goalkeepers. United’s 22-year-old goalkeeper Paul Robinson was included for the first time.
Woodgate and Bowyer had not previously been considered for selection by England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson after their involvement in a court case that followed an attack on a student in Leeds city centre in January 2000.
Central defender Woodgate, who was sentenced to 100 hours of community service after being found guilty of affray in relation to the attack, has one full cap. Bowyer was cleared of all charges but faces the possibility of civil action from the victim’s families. The 25-year-old midfielder has not played for the England senior team but was a regular at the under-21 level. Eriksson said it was time to draw a line under the past.
“I said last season and I still believe that if anyone who has been punished serves their punishment, that should be it,” Eriksson told a news conference Monday. “You can’t go punishing people all their lives for doing something they shouldn’t have done.”