DEAN MORGAN is in seventh heaven after being chosen to represent England in next summer's Common-wealth Games.

The 31-year-old Boscombe Cliff international has been selected for the pairs in the seven-strong men's bowling team competing at Trafford Park, Manchester, on July 25-August 3.

"This is the greatest thrill of my bowls career and it's tremendous to be a part of a new era for bowls as £370,000 has been given to the men's and ladies' squads to prepare for the Games. The sport has never had funding like that before," said Morgan, a purchasing manager with electronics company Cameo Systems in Ferndown.

Morgan heard of his call-up from England performance co-ordinator Tony Allcock following a final selection weekend in Gloucester-shire where the side was announced from an original party of 14.

When those 14 squad names were first announced last year Morgan was a reserve but then Allcock withdrew as a player to become national performance co-ordinator. Morgan was drafted in as his replacement and has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

"Being the last one into the squad I didn't fancy my chances but I have been playing consistently not just last weekend but in internationals and in squad training as well."

The generous funding, financed by Lottery money, means the team will have a thorough preparation for Manchester, including a trip to South Africa in November for warm-weather training and games against the host country.

Before that there is a team bonding session in York and health and fitness sessions at Loughborough.

Morgan will lead for Cumbria skip Steve Farish in the pairs while Mervyn King (Norfolk) will play singles with John Ottaway (Norfolk), Simon Skelton (Derbyshire), Robert Newman (Berkshire) and skip David Holt (Lancashire) contesting the fours.

There will also be a triples competition for multi-disabled bowlers.

Morgan is not the only Boscombe Cliff member involved with the national team as club colleague Julian Haines, an England outdoor selector who competed in the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games, is a technical coach.

Morgan took up bowls as a 14-year-old with Braeside before moving to Boscombe Cliff fours years later.

A junior international both indoors and outdoors, Morgan has been a senior outdoor England player for the last three years and was capped by the senior indoor team between 1993-95.

He and wife Heather live in Scotter Road, Boscombe, with sons Luke, 11, Ben, 10, and three-year-old Finn.

Allcock is performance co-ordinator for the England women's team as well and their Games line-up reads: Jean Baker (Derbyshire), singles; Lynne Whitehead (Norfolk), Amy Gowshall (Lincolnshire), pairs; Ellen Alexander (Cambridgeshire), Shirley Page (Hertfordshire), Gill Mitchell (Northants), Carol Duckworth (Essex), fours.