Former Premier League defender Curtis Davies, who now plays his trade at Cheltenham, has embraced a long-awaited opportunity to represent Sierra Leone on the international stage at the age of 38.

The former English Premier League footballer, known for his spells with Leicester City, West Brom, and Hull City, expressed his joy and gratitude upon receiving his first call-up to the Sierra Leone national team.

Davies took to social media to share his enthusiasm, saying, “I’m delighted to formally announce that I will be joining the Sierra Leone national team for their upcoming friendlies. I thought the opportunity to represent the country of my father’s birth had passed, but I feel very proud and humbled to have received the call.” He punctuated his message with the Sierra Leone flag emoji ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฑ.

For Curtis Davies, this decision carries immense personal significance. In a heartfelt tribute to his late father, he shared, “It will be a proud moment for me to pull on the shirt of The Leone Stars and make my family in Sierra Leone proud, but most of all my dad. He did everything in his power to give me the best chance to become a footballer, so I dedicate this all to him.”

This momentous decision comes a decade after Davies had hinted at the possibility of representing Sierra Leone. In an interview with the Daily Star a decade ago, he revealed, “My dad comes from Sierra Leone, and I’ve had a couple of invitations to play for them in the national side, but it’s not the right time. If the African calendar was the same as the European calendar, it might have been an earlier decision for me.”

His connections to Sierra Leone run deep, with family ties still existing in the country. Davies remarked, “I’ve got family over there [Sierra Leone]. My grandad’s still over there and my great uncle, people like that. I might have given up on England earlier, but I feel like I’m so close but not close enough at the moment.”

He continued, “Before I retire, if I haven’t managed to live my dream and play for England, then I’ll definitely consider going over and playing for Sierra Leone. I need unfortunate luck for someone else to get my luck. If I’m fifth or sixth choice for England, I don’t know, so I’d need some very good luck to get in there.”