Striker Patrick Bamford revealed he jumped at the chance to make his England Under-21s debut last week against San Marino.
MK Dons’ in-form striker Bamford, on loan from Premier League side Chelsea, was called-up to the young Lions side ahead of their qualifier with the Sammarinese, after fellow forward Saido Berahino was ruled out of clash through suspension.
Bamford was forced to start on the bench on Tuesday night but was finally handed his debut 65 minutes in by manager Gareth Southgate, and the 20-year-old was grateful for his opportunity.
Speaking to MK Dons Player, Bamford said: “It was a proud moment for me. When Gareth Southgate called me up and asked me if I wanted to play, I jumped at the chance. It’s been my aim this season to get called up to England Under-21s but when the call did come I was very surprised.
“I was back home in Surrey, cooking my Sunday roast when the gaffer rang to tell me that Gareth Southgate was going to give me a call. He rang and asked if I wanted to go and play with them, which was a bit of a silly question.
“He said I’d definitely be on the bench, so I looked to try and impress as much as I could in training. I worked quite hard and tried to show what I could do and fortunately I got a chance to come on.
“I’ve played for England before at under-18s and under-19s but some reason, this time, it felt different. It was a really special occasion for me and my family as well. It meant a lot to me personally.”
Despite a whirlwind few days for the young forward, Bamford’s mind is now solely focused on helping the Dons record their third straight victory against a Bradford City side who sit just above them in the Sky Bet League 1 table.
And the former Nottingham Forest trainee believes that by putting together that run of victories, his side will find the consistency they’ve been craving.
He added: “One of the main things we’ve lacked this year is consistency, whether it be in performances or results, so once we get that consistency then I think the results will start to come together.”