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September 23, 2017

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Hodgson hopes young guns can fire England

LONDON -- England manager Roy Hodgson is coming to terms with life after John Terry and hopes the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland will kick start a new era for English soccer.

San Marino's visit to Wembley next Friday will be the first fixture for Hodgson since former captain Terry announced his retirement from international soccer.

The Chelsea man claimed the Football Association's decision to charge him with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, even though he had been found innocent in court of a similar charge, made his position in the team untenable.

Terry has since been found guilty by an FA disciplinary committee, fined 220,000 pounds and banned for four matches; a decision which seems to draw a permanent line under his England career.

"I regret his decision, of course," said Hodgson. "He did a great job in the short time I worked with him, and played well for me. But he's made his decision.

"It's a decision that's irrevocable as far as he's concerned, so all I can do is wish him well in his Chelsea career. It's a closed chapter as far as I'm concerned. It's important to move forward."

Hodgson has done that by selecting Stoke City defender Ryan Shawcross in his squad and by ignoring calls for Manchester United veteran Rio Ferdinand to be recalled.

"Ryan has been doing very well at the start of this season and over a period of time at Stoke and it'll be interesting to have a look at him." said Hodgson, who ignored criticism that Shawcross, who famously broke Arsenal player Aaron Ramsey's leg with a challenge, can be over-physical.

"He's captain of Stoke. When you captain a team, it shows you have certain qualities. My contact with him has been from the opposing bench, and he's always had good games.

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