Southend United goalkeeper Ted Smith was delighted to earn an England under-19 call-up on Monday, and says he can’t wait to represent his country again.
Smith represented England’s under-18 side last season while he was part of the youth setup, and will be back involved again in September, this time with the under-19’s.
Having played against Germany for the under-18’s last season, he’s now looking forward to going up against them again, this time in Germany.
He said: “We played them at home when I was with the under-18’s last season, but it will be a whole new experience going out to face them in Germany.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Not just the opportunity to earn another cap for my country, but the chance to be part of the national side and train with them.
“Normally two goalkeepers go out and it would be great to get some time on the pitch but it’s great just to have the chance to be part of the setup.
“It’s only a friendly but this year with the under-19’s it will be much more competitive as there are European Championship games coming up and I’d love to be involved in them.”
Smith will continue to push for a first-team spot at Roots Hall, with competition in the face of Daniel Bentley and Paul Smith.
The young goalkeeper will also be a key figure for Blues’ development squad this season, and was handed the captain’s armband by Graham Coughlan.
He added: “The development games are great because it is nice to be able to get some games under my belt while I’m pushing for the first-team.
“The competition is tough because Dan is doing a great job at the moment and Paul Smith is a very experienced goalkeeper who is great to work with.
“I’ll just keep working as hard as I can to get into the first-team. I’ll be patient and will relish the challenge throughout the season.
“Getting the captaincy was a great feeling. I was quite shy before the youth team but I’ve grown in confidence and I enjoy the responsibility of being a captain.”