Heaton is eager to capitalise on England chance

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton has declared that he isn’t in the England camp to make up the numbers.

Friday, 12th June 2015, 12:00 pm
Tom Heaton is relishing his time with the England squad

The 29-year-old earned his first international call-up alongside former Clarets striker Charlie Austin and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy, though Roy Hodgson only presented the latter with any game time in the 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin.

Ahead of the Euro 2016 Group E qualifier against Slovenia at the Stožice Stadium on Sunday, with kick-off at 5 p.m., Heaton told the club: “I have to make it clear that my ambition goes beyond just making it in to the squad.

“I’ve got my foot in the door and I want to make sure that I make an impact and come back again. That’s certainly my ambition.

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“We’re here to play games, though I’ve arrived with no expectation of that. I just want to get in and show what I can do.

“With regards to the matches, the qualifier, that’s out of my control. All I can do is focus on what I’m doing and see what happens but there’s certainly hope.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to testing myself at the highest level on the international stage. You can see the standard they set and I want to push my game on.

“I want to keep getting better, keep developing and progressing. When you’re around players of this standard it brings out the best in you.”

The former Manchester United trainee prepared for the trip to St George’s Park with sessions alongside Clarets goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer. Since his arrival in to the Three Lions set up, Heaton has worked alongside Dave Watson, Joe Hart and Rob Green.

“I’m over the moon to be here, obviously for myself, the goalkeeping coach, the manager, the staff, all the players and for the club as a whole really,” Heaton said.

“It’s fantastic. You’ve got to embrace it. There’s no point shrinking away from it. It’s a great opportunity, a nice challenge, I’m relishing it so far and I’m ready to kick on.”

He added: “I’ve known Harty for quite a long time. We shared quite a few England trips growing up and I obviously played against him when he was at City in the reserves. We get on great.

“With Greeny I know him from playing against him and he’s a top man. They’ve been superb along with the coach Dave Watson.”