Leaving Ipswich Town all but cost me my England Euro 2012 place says Fulham keeper David Stockdale
I WISH I had never have left.
That is the frank admission of David Stockdale, pictured above, who now believes his Euro 2012 dream all but died the day he left Portman Road.
The former Blues number one excelled during four months on loan at Ipswich despite a difficult start to the season – earning regular call-ups to Fabio Capello’s squad in the process.
But he was abruptly ordered back to parent club Fulham under the 24-hour recall term of his loan deal.
His dreams of becoming a Premier league ‘keeper soon turned into a nightmare after he was dropped following Mark Schwarzer’s return from injury.
Rather than excelling at Ipswich in the latter stages of the season, he spent the last 15 games on the sidelines and lost his England place when Roy Hodgson picked his Euros squad.
He admitted: “I think if I had stayed at Ipswich, I would have had a better chance of making the Euros.
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“It is all about playing regularly and playing well even if it is in the Championship – Rob Green at West Ham proved that.
“It was great going back to Fulham and playing in the Premier League, but I was disappointed to leave Ipswich in the first place as I really liked the club and my family really liked the area.”
Despite conceding 35 goals in just 18 games with the Blues, Stockdale was one of Town’s best players during the first half of the season.
But the nature of the recall clause, a factor that put off rival Championship clubs taking the keeper on loan, always meant his time at Portman Road was on a knife-edge.
And when 39-year-old Schwarzer was injured, Stockdale was quickly whisked back to Craven Cottage – facing Manchester United and Chelsea just days after playing against Barnsley.
But after being consigned to the bench, Hodgson went with Green and Norwich stopper John Ruddy before turning to Birmingham rookie Jack Butland when the latter broke a finger in training.
Stockdale said: “I would have loved to have come back to Ipswich, although I am not sure if I would have been allowed to under the loan agreement.
“I was so glad that they went on a good run and got themselves out of trouble. I now always look out for the Ipswich score and I hope they will achieve promotion to the Premier League next season as they are a great club.”