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Parker's Premier League plea

Filed: Thursday, 2nd June 2011
By: Staff Writer

Scott Parker has sent out a clear message that he expects to be playing in the Premier League next season.

The current Football Writers' Player of the Year, speaking ahead of England's clash with Switzerland this weekend suggested that his chances of representing his country at next summer's European Championships would be severely hampered by playing in the nation's second division.

"Not many players do get picked from the Championship; that's just the way it is," he said. "But it's too early to say exactly what is going to happen to me on a personal level.

"I am sure we will see over the next couple of months. There is speculation, but it is easy for me to block it out. If I was 22 it would probably be a different story and my mind would be elsewhere. Now I am quite experienced; I know how things work.

"My aim is to be there [Euros] come this time next year. I know there is a long way to go and things can change but if I can help in any way, that is what I will try and do."

The news will no doubt come as a blow to those Hammers fans who harboured unrealistic aspirations of seeing Parker in claret and blue next season - and those who felt the 30-year-old should honour the lucrative five-year contract he signed just nine months ago.

However Parker quite clearly sees this as his last opportunity to cement a place in the England set-up.

"It was difficult not to be selected for the World Cup. After that I thought my chances would have been limited," he continued. "But the Wales game was a massive chance for me.

"I felt if I didn't perform in that game I would not have pulled on an England shirt again. In football, especially at international level, when opportunities come along you have to grab them."

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