England C forward prepares for Tuesday's International Challenge Trophy Final.
International Challenge Trophy
Tuesday 19 May 2009
Kassam Stadium, Oxford United
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James Constable is relishing his opportunity to get back into action for England C in Tuesday night's International Challenge Trophy Final (ICT).
The Oxford United forward – who signed a permanent deal with the club at the end of the season – is in the squad to face Belgium next week and will hope to run out wearing the Three Lions at his home ground of Kassam Stadium.
“I’ve had loads of messages wishing me luck and there’s going to be a lot of my friends and family at the game,” said Constable. “And, being at Kassam Stadium, hopefully a few of the Oxford fans will get out there and support us, too.”
Having been involved in the Finland and Italy ICT group games, Constable is keen to claim his third England cap and continue the form that has seen him bag 26 goals for the U’s this season.
“It’s an incredibly proud feeling to be representing my country at this level. I’m over the moon that I’ve been selected for the squad and that I will hopefully get the chance to represent England again. I think it’s the highest honour you can achieve.
“For me personally, I’ve just carried on training as if I was still in season. I’m just looking forward to what is a massive game, and I think the lads are just counting down the days so we can pull on the shirts and get out there and do our job.”
Constable was the hero when England needed a draw in Italy to secure their place in the ICT Final, grabbing a late equaliser to make the final score 2-2. It was his first goal in an England shirt and could not have come at a better time.
“It was late on in the game and we were throwing everything at them,” said Constable. “We hit the bar a couple of minutes earlier and we were having shots from anywhere, just desperately trying to get the goal that we needed. Luckily enough we had a lad who can launch a throw-in like a corner and he did just that. It was flicked on and I was in the right place at the right time, at the back stick about a yard out. It was an amazing feeling.”
The result secured England’s Final berth and gave Paul Fairclough’s men the chance to retain the trophy they won in 2006. It also presented Constable with another opportunity to add to his England experiences.
“It’s a once in a lifetime thing. For me personally, it’s a very proud moment; for me, my family and my friends. The games I’ve played, the shirt’s already framed and hung on the wall, the caps are boxed and it’s all just an amazing feeling. When you’re stood there singing the national anthem and you get that lump in your throat, and you realise how lucky and how blessed you are to be able to do what you are doing, I don’t think you take it for granted."