Hammers defender gets Wales call

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West Ham defender Danny Gabbidon has been named in the Wales squad for their opening Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro next month.

Gabbidon has been hampered by a succession of groin problems in recent seasons but is now beginning another comeback attempt after successful surgery in the summer.

The 30-year-old has not played competitive football since April but was on the bench for the Hammers' Barclays Premier League opener at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Wales manager John Toshack did not risk the Cwmbran-born player for last week's friendly defeat of Luxembourg but is confident he will be fit for the trip to Podgorica on September 3. Gabbidon last played for his country in last November's friendly victory over Scotland.

He is joined in Toshack's 25-man squad by former West Ham team-mate James Collins, who has missed Wales' last two outings. The Aston Villa defender pulled out of the trip to Croatia in May to attend the birth of his child and did not feature in the 5-1 thrashing of Luxembourg in Llanelli due to a calf injury.

He was also unable to play in Villa's 3-0 win over West Ham and is not with the squad for Thursday's Europa League qualifier at Rapid Vienna, but Toshack wants his experience in the squad.

Toshack keeps faith with the 17 players on duty in last week's convincing performance.

St Mirren's Andy Dorman, who made his debut in Croatia after two outings as an unused substitute, returns to the squad after missing out last time.

Gareth Bale, Darcy Blake, David Edwards, Simon Church and Ched Evans are the other faces in Toshack's squad that did not feature in the last game.

The team will again be led by the influential Craig Bellamy, who is now playing his club football in south Wales at Cardiff after moving on loan from Manchester City.

Toshack had been due to name his squad on Friday but the former Real Madrid boss threw a surprise by announcing it early.

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Daniel Gabbidon
West Ham United

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