Blackpool winger's joy at joining 'something special' with England's Under-21s.
says his goalscoring form at Blackpool this season has helped catapult him into the England Under-21s reckoning.
Son of ex-England captain Paul
, 20-year-old Tom has earned his first call-up to Stuart Pearce
’s squad for their final two Euro 2013 qualifiers
And after smashing four goals in just four games for Ian Holloway’s Tangerines this campaign, the former Liverpool winger is now looking to take that form into a Three Lions shirt.
Having already picked up international honours for the U17s and U19s, he links up with Pearce’s Group Eight high-flyers for the first time as they home in on a place in the play-offs for next year’s European Championship Finals.
They play away in Azerbaijan on Thursday and against Norway in Chesterfield on Monday night
“Having scored four goals in four games it’s been a great start for me and has shown that the gaffer has seen that in me to bring me into the 21s,” Ince told FATV
at the team’s hotel in Baku. “I’ve just got to keep performing like I have been for Blackpool on the international stage and when I return to my club I keep doing the same performances.
“At the back end of last season I had to be patient and I got my chance at Blackpool. A good run into the play-off Final and a nice goal, but unfortunately we didn’t go through. I was proud of my performances last season and it was vital for me that I took it into this season.”
He added: “I’ve been through a couple of the youth set-ups with England, but the Under-21s is something special. It’s one step away from the first team, so to get that call was fantastic.
“It was a great achievement for me and I’ve enjoyed every minute since I got here.”
“This squad is fantastic, there are some big name players who play at big teams. Just to be involved in this environment is fantastic. It’s been high-tempo training and you can see the quality in this squad.”
Two wins from the two games coming up will seal a two-legged head-to-head for a spot in Israel in June. Despite beating Azerbaijan 6-0 in the home game a year ago, Pearce’s young Lions will play in Baku on an artificial pitch.
But Ince says England, who also beat group rivals Norway on a 3G pitch in October
, will have enough to overcome their hosts on Thursday.
“It’s tough and very different to what all the lads train on every week, but it’s something we have to adapt to,” said Ince.
“On Thursday when we play Azerbaijan we’re going to have to be playing on that type of pitch. I’m sure with the quality we have in the squad we won’t have any problems whatever the surface is.”
The Three Lions game in Baku on Thursday kicks off at 4pm BST before they meet with Norway at Chesterfield's Proact Stadium on Monday.
Tickets for the 7pm kick-off at Chesterfield are priced at £10 Adults, £5 children (£0.50 per order for credit card payment applies).
Group bookings [click here to download form] can be made priced at £5 for adults and £2.50 for children, subject to availability (a £1.50 postage and packing fee applies). Charter Standard clubs can also apply for a maximum of 25 tickets [click here for CS Booking Form]. Concessions are classed as under 18s, students and over 65s.
Call 01246 488232 or email email@example.com to get your tickets now or book online at www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk