Published 31 August 2021 3 min read
England Men's Senior Team

Patrick's surprise

Written by:

Nicholas Veevers

The latest new face in the England men's squad opens up on how he never gave up hope of reaching the highest level

Patrick Bamford shared the story of how he learned about his first England men’s senior call-up for September’s triple header.
 
The Leeds United striker was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad to face Hungary, Andorra and Poland in their next round of European qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
 
And after linking up with his new international teammates at St. George’s Park on Monday, the 27 year old revealed more about the moment he was taken by surprise at the news.
 
"It's been unreal,” he said.
 
"I’d got my hopes up a few times last year but obviously it didn't happen then. 
 
“But I knew because Gareth was mentioning my name that I was getting close and to be honest, this time around I didn't even think of it.
 
"I forgot the squad announcement was that day so I went into training, found out in the morning and it was great news, I couldn't believe it.
 
"I'd been doing some media things at Elland Road and then went into training when I got a FaceTime call off the technical director… 
 
“I was like: 'what's that?' as I was trying to get ready for training and get changed.
 
"So I didn't answer it and then I got another call straight away so I thought I'd better answer and he was showing me the email to the club secretary with my name above Kalvin's and that was how I found out – it was a great moment.”
For the Grantham-born striker, it’s a first international call-up since he was part of the MU21s under Gareth Southgate back in 2014 when on the books of Chelsea.
 
Since then, he’s had to work his way up to regular top-flight football having taken a number of loan spells away from Stamford Bridge with the likes of MK Dons, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Norwich City.
 
Not all of them were successful but since his switch to Leeds United in 2018 and helping the Whites back into the Premier League where he scored 17 goals last term, he’s fired his way back into contention.

And he says he never gave up hope of representing the Three Lions to add to his caps from MU18, MU19 and MU21 level.
 
"Not every player's career path is the same and at different times you have different obstacles in the way,” he added.
 
"I always believed it was going to happen and that I was going to get to this level, so within myself and without speaking about it, I always had that self belief that I was capable and I just needed to keep working hard
 
"I knew I would never give up and until the day I retired, so it was just about hard work.”
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