Iwelumo's joy

CHRIS Iwelumo has become the latest former Colchester United player to be called up by his country.Current Wolves striker Iwelumo has been named in the Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifier against Norway.

Carl Marston

CHRIS Iwelumo has become the latest former Colchester United player to be called up by his country.

Current Wolves striker Iwelumo has been named in the Scotland squad for the World Cup qualifier against Norway. Of course the Scots are managed by another ex-Colchester (and Ipswich) man, George Burley.

The U's have a history of producing future international stars, who have gone on to earn caps for their country after leaving the Essex club.

Mark Kinsella (Republic of Ireland) and Lomano Lua Lua (Democratic Republic of Congo) spring to mind, and more recently Richard Garcia has played a couple of games for his native Australia. Garcia left Colchester to join Hull a couple of seasons ago.

Now Garcia's ex-U's team-mate, Iwelumo, is looking forward to starting his international career at the ripe old age of 30.

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“It's been a long time coming, but I'm just delighted it has happened. It's fantastic news,” enthused Iwelumo.

“It's every player's dream to represent their country or at least be involved, and hopefully I'll get a chance.

“I thought I might have as a good a chance as ever this time around, although obviously I never knew if the suspension (current three-match ban) would end it.

“It was disappointing because I'd just got a hat-trick (against Preston) and was top scorer in the Championship, and then I picked up a three-match ban,” added Iwelumo.

Ex-Stoke and Brighton target man Iwelumo gave terrific service to the U's over two successful seasons. He never missed a league game in those two campaigns, which spanned promotion to the Championship and then the club's highest ever League finish (10th in the Championship).

He weighed in with 35 league goals, forming a lethal partnership with Golden Boot winner Jamie Cureton, before moving to Charlton on a free transfer in the summer of 2007.

Once again, the Scotsman featured in every league game last term, and ended up as Charlton's top scorer with 10 goals. Now he has already bagged eight goals in seven games for his new club Wolves, who currently top the Championship.

Iwelumo's red-hot form, over those last three years, has not been lost on Scotland manager Burley.

Former U's boss Burley said: “I saw a lot of Chris when he played for Colchester. You are always looking for players in form, players who are playing regularly, and Chris comes into that category with eight goals,” said Burley.

Scotland will play Norway at Hampden Park on Saturday, October 11.

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