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Gabbidon Pleased With Wales Recall

7 August 2013


Palace defender Danny Gabbidon has been named in the Wales squad for their friendly against the Republic of Ireland on 14th August. 

The 33-year-old has been recalled to the national team by manager Chris Coleman, having not played a competitive international match since appearing in the Carling Nations Cup back in May 2011. 

He also played in the memorial match in honour of the late Wales boss Gary Speed, in February 2012, having won a number of his 46 caps under his leadership.   

Gabbidon’s return to the national set-up means the Eagles will have two players in the Wales side next week, as the former West Ham, Cardiff City and West Brom defender lines up alongside Jonny Williams.

Speaking to the Palace website following his call-up, Gabbidon said: “The last 18 months have been a bit up and down with my football. My season at QPR, I played the first half but not the second half, and then last season I came here late. So that’s affected my international football really. 

“It’s nice to have played a few games last season and to be selected back in the squad feels good.

“I’ve always thought to myself ‘if I’m fit and playing regularly in my club team, I’ve got a chance of being selected for the national team.’ Playing a few games at the end of last season has obviously helped.

“If you’re playing and doing well, you hope to be involved. So maybe it was a bit of a surprise, but it’s a nice feeling to be back involved. Towards the last few games, especially in the play-offs, I felt like I was playing at the level I expect myself to be playing at. Maybe that’s helped with my selection in the squad.

“Hopefully the manager still thinks I have something to offer, whether that’s playing or on the bench. It will be nice to meet the lads again and see some faces I haven’t seen for a while.”

And Gabbidon was full of praise for one of those faces – his Palace teammate Jonny Williams. 

“Jonny had a great season last season, probably his first full season. He played a lot of games and he’s still young, still growing, still maturing. Last season you could see that not just in how he was playing, but growing physically and he’s not getting those niggling injuries like he used to.

“I know he likes going away with the national team and he learns a lot, so that can only benefit Crystal Palace when he comes back and plays for us.”

Gabbidon admitted that he had been getting stick from some of his other Palace teammates, quipping that they thought he retired from the international game.

“I’ve had a few comments,” he said. “I did actually retire when Toshack was in charge, but they were different circumstances then.

“Gary Speed took over and he asked me to come back, so I said ‘yes.’ Obviously then for 18 months I’ve been in and out of my club teams and various things have happened so I didn’t play that much.

“So maybe people thought I’d retired again I don’t know! But I’m still here, I’m still available for selection and it’s nice to get the call.”


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