VIDEO: Cleverley does it
Monday, 13 August, 2012
Midfielder aiming to make his England debut one year on from first call-up.
Tom Cleverley is hoping to make up for lost time this week, as he heads to Switzerland with the England squad just one year on from his first call-up to the Senior ranks.
The Manchester United man was included in the group who were set to take on Netherlands at Wembley last August before the match was postponed due to the London riots and he had been tipped to make his Three Lions bow in that contest.
A stop-start campaign at Old Trafford followed on from that, but he’s now back in the squad and eyeing up a possible debut against the Italians in Berne.
“It’s always an honour to get called up for your country, so I was delighted with that,” said Cleverley, who has also played for England at U19, U20 and Under-21 level in recent years.
“It was a strange season for me last year, but I’m over that now and I’m just getting my head down and hoping to play as much football as possible whether it’s for England or Manchester United.
“First of all, I want to get my first cap. For any footballer, it’s a massive one and growing up, it’s something that you dream of.
“It will be the pinnacle of my career if I do, along with winning trophies, it will be a massive honour for me and my family and I would be very proud.”
Cleverley joins the England squad hot on the heels of his spell with the Team GB group in the Olympics, something which he thoroughly enjoyed and featured in all of the games with Stuart Pearce’s side.
“It’s been fantastic,” he added. “It was a bit different, but on a personal level, it was good for me. I played some games and feel confident coming out of the tournament.
“It was a shame we didn’t get a medal, but as an experience, I’ve enjoyed it. I played five games and it helped me experience-wise in tournament football.
“I think not just football, but for sport in general, it’s been a tremendous showcase. The respect, the hard work, success and how people have taken defeat, it’s been absolutely fantastic.
“I’ve enjoyed being a part of it and watching it and hopefully the spirit of the Games can continue not just through football but in all sports worldwide.”
As for Wednesday’s match, Cleverley is one of several young players selected who will be hoping to make their first senior international appearance, not just for England either, as Italy themselves have selected a number of un-capped players too.
“I think there will be a lot of players trying to prove a point in Wednesday’s game,” he admitted.
“There are a lot of young players in the squad, but we all know each other from the Under-21s and Team GB so it won’t take too long for us to gel. We know it will be a tough game, but hopefully we can get a positive result.”