Stoke City: Peter Coates proud of Ryan Shawcross England debut
STOKE chairman Peter Coates says he is enormously proud of Ryan Shawcross after the defender made his England debut last night.
When Shawcross came on after 74 minutes for Steven Caulker in Sweden, he became the first Stoke City player to appear for the national side since winger Mark Chamberlain, from Sneyd Green, in 1984.
Shawcross would have hoped for an easier evening. Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic got away from the Stoke defender to level at 2-2 on 77 minutes.
The striker then scored a free kick and an incredible 25-yard overhead kick for his fourth goal to complete a 4-2 victory for the hosts.
Coates, who is a member of the FA international committee, said: "It's not the scoreline we would have wanted, but it is still a great night for Ryan and his family. He must be a proud young man and we are delighted for him.
"Great credit goes to Tony Pulis his manager who brought him in and has developed him. It's great for Stoke City as well.
"Okay, the goals came as they did, but football is an unpredictable game.
"Ibrahimovic is a fantastic player. It's difficult to come on and you need that bit of luck. These things happen.
"We know Ryan is a good player, and you can't judge him on 20 minutes."
Shawcross joins an illustrious list of Stoke players capped by England, including legends Neil Franklin, Sir Stanley Matthews and Gordon Banks.
The Stoke captain faces competition to keep his international place. Manchester United's defensive duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, who have been on the injury list, are likely to be in contention by the time England play again when they host Brazil in February.
They then return to their World Cup qualifying campaign with back-to-back away matches, at San Marino, on March 22, and Montenegro, on March 26.
Coates believes Shawcross has every chance of staying in the squad if he can maintain his club form.
He said: "Ryan is up there and he has a real chance."
Assistant boss Dave Kemp says Shawcross was a victim of circumstance after his long-awaited debut coincided with three goals for Ibrahimovic.
Kemp said: "It was unfortunate the game turned while Ryan was on, but it's not his fault.
"Ibrahimovic showed what he can do. Four goals is a hell of a feat. It was a big occasion for Sweden and he was up for it.
"Coming on as a sub like Ryan did, you can get caught cold against a world-class striker like him."
Kemp doesn't believe his captain's dramatic debut should have any detrimental effect on his club form when Stoke resume their league programme at West Ham on Monday.
"I hope not," he said. "I see no reason why it should.
"He is an England player now and it's not everybody who gets that opportunity.
"Yes, you'd have liked him to have played longer and got a better opportunity, but you have to take these opportunities when they come along.
"To have represented England is one of life's great experiences."