It has taken Kevin Davies eight years to climb the slippery pole from reserve-team reject to the brink of an England cap - and he has no intention of letting the chance slip now.

The Bolton striker, who earned a surprise call up to Fabio Capello's squad, has enjoyed an eventful time of it since he first burst on to the scene as a rookie striker in Chesterfield's staggering run to the FA Cup semi-finals in 1997.

And ahead of Tuesday's Euro 2010 qualifier against Montenegro, he said: "Opportunities come along and you have got to seize them. I don't want to be a footnote. I am quite a calm person but inside I am bursting to win a cap, I would like to think not just one."

He added: "People say when the others are back I may not get back in, but I am here to work hard, make impression and hopefully play well on Tuesday."

Big-money moves to Southampton and Blackburn followed his stint at Chesterfield, but it was during a second spell with the Saints that Davies reached the nadir, and knew his career would have to take a change of direction.

In the season Southampton were to reach the FA Cup final, Gordon Strachan arranged a practice match; first team against reserves. Davies did not get a game - for either side and he recalled: "I was asked to sit in the stands. That did it for me. I thought, 'If can't get in that side it's not going to be'.

"My contract was running out and I knew I was not going to get another one, so I made the decision to go out on loan."

A month at Millwall rekindled Davies' enthusiasm for the game.

It took Sam Allardyce to rescue him though, taking the striker to Bolton for the start of a complete resurrection of his career.

And in pulling on an England shirt on Tuesday night, Davies, 33, would become the oldest England debutant since Leslie Compton in 1950.

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Topics:
Football
Blackburn Rovers
Millwall
Bolton Wanderers
Southampton
Premier League
Gordon Strachan
Chesterfield
FA Cup
Kevin Davies