England new boy Scott Parker is as ambitious as they come...
Exclusive: England new boy Scott Parker is as ambitious as they come - and he believes Charlton is the right club for him to fulfil his potential...
Parker returned to The Valley this week having had his appetite for international football well and truly whetted by England's five goal thriller with Denmark at Old Trafford.
As one of the most complete young midfielders in the country, it is not surprising that other clubs have shown an interest in Charlton's prize asset. But Parker's attitude is refreshing.
"I had an opportunity to leave in the summer but I chose to stay," he reveals.
"It was about football and being happy. You play your best football when you are feeling comfortable off the pitch. I am happy with my lifestyle and that is reflected on the field too.
"When I chose not to leave, I did so because I felt that Charlton are ambitious and that I could get into the England squad as a Charlton player. Last week has proved that I was right.
"I have been part of the club since I was nine and I have seen a steady progression throughout all the years that have been there. I just felt that at this time in my career, this was the right club for me."
Ultimately it is a compliment to Charlton that such a talented and driven player feels that his personal aspirations will be achieved with Alan Curbishley's high-flying side.
"I have signed a five year contract and, like a lot of people, I have a plan," he says. "I know where I want to be and what I want to achieve and at the moment I feel that I can do that at Charlton."
Scott won his first England cap on the back of some outstanding performances this season. He is able to recognise some changes in his game.
"If there is one part of my game that has improved it's my consistency so, if people are talking about me a bit more this season, perhaps that's because they can see a bit more of a regular pattern about my play," he reflects.
"I came into the side three years ago when I was 21. I was quite inexperienced then and just wanted to try and do the right things. Since then, I have gained a lot of responsibility at Charlton. I realise my role in the team and certain things that I have to do. With that comes confidence and that's what I've got at the moment.
"I go out there every week and I feel confident and part of a great side. The fans love me and I get on well with them. I go out there and try to dominate the game as much as I can.
"I would like to score more goals but it's hard because I do so much running off the ball to shut people down.
"After each game I'm struggling for a couple of days but I suppose that means that I've done my job!"
Scott Parker was talking to Dan Freedman