Burnley captain Tom Heaton is hoping to have an exciting summer with England
Burnley captain Tom Heaton is hoping to be involved in an exciting summer with England.
The 33-year-old goalkeeper is awaiting confirmation from Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate as to whether he'll be involved in the UEFA Nations League semi-final next month.
England take on the Netherlands at the Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques in Guimarães on June 6th and Southgate will name his initial squad tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.
All four competing nations must then submit their 23-man squads for the tournament on May 27th, several days before the Europa League and Champions League finals.
The England manager is planning to name a party of 26/27 players in his first draft as he plans on working with a larger group during pre-competition training camps at St George’s Park to cover for potential injuries.
Heaton, who has three caps for his country, said: "I am hoping so, obviously I was in the last camp.
"I took a couple of niggles into the last camp but I was desperate to be involved in it and thankfully this time around I feel a lot sharper and ready to go and hopefully I can look forward to an exciting summer."
Should they triumph, the World Cup semi-finalists will then take on the winner of the other semi-final between Portugal and Switzerland two days later. They play at Estádio Do Dragão in Porto beforehand.
Heaton, alongside Clarets team-mate James Tarkowski, was included in the last camp for UEFA European Championship qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
Heaton insists that England won't be taking the competition lightly, especially when there's silverware on the line.
"It is a trophy and there has been a buzz around England since the World Cup and before the World Cup.
"It has been nice for me to get back involved in it and I am certainly looking forward to it. A semi-final and hopefully a final against some top sides and the carrot is there at the end of it so everyone is looking forward to taking it on."
He added: "The whole perception and view of the England side has shifted, it has shifted in the right direction. There is a real positive feel to it.
"The young lads that are coming through now have ability and a fearless nature to them and have not been burnt perhaps by some of the negativity and disappointment in the past.
"It is fresh and strong and has a lot of potential and it is about hopefully turning that into achievement."