Citys training camp has borne a deserted look over the last two weeks as a record
number of international players set off to represent their countries.
A total of twenty-two players were called up for international duty at all levels,
which is believed to be a record for the club. They included brothers Gavin and Craig
Strachan and Gary McSheffrey, who has just signed a new three year contract with Sky
At senior level Gary Breen and Robbie Keane have been in action for the Republic of
Ireland, Moustapha Hadji and Youssef Chippo for Morocco, Magnus Hedman for Sweden and Mo
Konjic for Bosnia.
The under-21 international representation included Barry Quinn and Barry Ferguson for
the Republic, Morten Hyldgaard for Denmark, Gavin Strachan for Scotland, Runar Normann for
Norway and Belgiums Laurent Delorge although the two last named had to withdraw
Chris Kirkland, Craig Pead and Gary McSheffrey are in the England under-18 squad
against Switzerland at Peterborough, Matthew Cook and Matthew Lewis have been selected for
Wales under-18, Brian Ford, Martin Grant, Graham Mathie and Craig Strachan for Scotland
under-17, and Daniel Wright for England under-15.
Sky Blues manager Gordon Strachan says:
"It is a credit to the players and to our scouts and coaches that we have had so
many called up for their countries. The fact that we have been able to attract such a
wealth of talent at all age levels shows the club is firmly on the right track."
One man who missed out however is Gary McAllister, who has won more than fifty caps for
Scotland and captained his country, but who retired from international football after
being given a rough ride by Scottish fans on his last international appearance.