Bothroyd: 'Best day of my career'
By Nicholas Veevers
Monday, 15 November, 2010
Cardiff hitman delighted to receive first England call-up.
There will be FATV video coverage of the Jay Bothroyd press conference later.
The latest new face to join the England camp spoke today of his ‘dream come true’ after receiving the nod from Manager Fabio Capello to join up with the squad ahead of Wednesday’s match with France at Wembley.
Jay Bothroyd, who has been in fine form with Championship leaders Cardiff City this season, was something of surprise inclusion in Capello’s party for the game and the striker admits that he was a little taken aback by the call-up himself, but is equally determined to now stake his claim.
“I was obviously surprised, playing in the Championship, but I am over the moon and it was the best day of my career to get that call and I’m really pleased to be here,” said Bothroyd, after his first training session with the squad at London Colney on Monday morning.
“I didn’t really think about it at the beginning of the season, I just wanted to get on the scoresheet a bit more and keep contributing to the team so when the call did come, it was a bit surprising but it’s a dream come true for me.
“You’re playing with world class players, so it’s terrific and it was enjoyable to get out there and train.”
The striker has 15 goals to his name for the Welsh club already this season, as David Jones’ side have proved amongst the early front-runners in the Championship and he feels there is such a high-standard in that league now that he refuses to be over-awed by anything he may face at international level.
“There are a few players who have played in the Championship,” he explained. “Andy Carroll was in the Championship last season and he’s gone up and done well and now he’s in the England squad as well.
“There are many good players in the Championship, but when you meet people like Rio, Stevie G and people like that, you feel that you have to step up and show your worth.
“But it was enjoyable today and if I’m involved on Wednesday it will be another great day for me.”
It had been something of a nomadic existence for the north-Londoner through the early stages of his career, before seemingly finding his ideal home in Cardiff and working his way into the thoughts of Capello and his staff over the last few months.
He was an England youth international in his teenage years whilst helping Arsenal to win The FA Youth Cup and after being one of Arsene Wenger’s highly-rated younger players at the time, it was something of a surprise when he was sold to Coventry City after a fall-out with then Gunners youth coach Don Howe.
From there, he has taken in spells with Italian outfit Perugia, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers before arriving in South Wales. Now 28, Bothroyd feels the experiences from his career to date have helped him focus and improve.
“When I was younger, I made a massive mistake (at Arsenal) but I was a young nipper and you try to learn from your mistakes,” he admitted.
“Arsenal is a great club under a great manager, so I was disheartened to leave and I’ve had a long journey, but I think I’m back on track now and obviously being in the England squad is great.
“My career so far has been a lesson, there’s been a few down years for me but in the last two years I’ve knuckled down and I’ve made a conscious effort to change my life around, both on and off the field.
“So I went back to basics and just worked hard. I always knew I had the ability but I had to really knuckle down and work hard.
“I’m 28, but I don’t feel a day under 20 to be honest. I still have loads of energy and I’ve got the experience of travelling around. I’ve been to Italy and seen how they live and then I’ve come back and I’m more mature and focused on what I need to do to get to where I want to.
“At the moment, it’s paying off. The last three years for me have been great and Dave Jones and Terry Burton and the staff at Cardiff have helped.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I’m just delighted to be here and we’ll see what happens.”