OXFORD United centre forward Kevin Francis got an international call-up today - from the tiny Caribbean island of St Kitts-Nevis.

He has been asked to play in three Shell Caribbean Cup Zone 3 matches on April 1, 3 and 5.

The 6ft 7in striker will miss one Division 1 game for United - the visit to Port Vale on April 4 - and he will be back in time to face Swindon Town on April 11.

These will be 30-year-old Fran-cis's first international caps - and he said he was delighted, although at first he thought it was the wrong country.

"I'm surprised, because I thought I'd have got the call from Glenn (Hoddle)," the big man said in his endearing self-mocking manner.

"I've never actually been to the place," he admitted. "But I qualify because both my parents were born there.

"The way things are going, more and more players are getting chances to play international football and it's great to get a call."

Francis is certain to be the target of considerable banter in the dressing room, playing for a country he's never been to.

And some of it will come from manager Malcolm Shotton. He said: "I've been there! I went there in the summer, on holiday, so really I should qualify!

"Seriously, though," Shotton added, "I'm delighted for the fella. It's a great honour for him and a good honour for the football club.

"It's disappointing that we lose him for a game, but I'm not going to stand in his way of an international cap."

l Geographical note: St Kitts-Nevis are volcanic islands with a population of 45,000 (just bigger than Banbury), not far from Antigua.

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