Tuesday, 17 November, 2009
Gary Gardner hoping to represent his third different England team of the year tonight.
After a busy year with England so far in 2009, Gary Gardner is preparing to get back into action again this evening as part of the U19 squad which faces Turkey in Scunthorpe.
The Aston Villa midfielder has already featured for both the U17s and U20s in 2009, going to the European U17 Championship Finals in May and then the U20 World Cup in September.
Now, he’s looking to pick up his first cap at U19 level tonight and admits he’s looking forward to the game.
“I can’t wait for it,” admitted the 17-year-old.
“I’ve been away with the U17s and U20s this year and I’ve loved every minute of it, especially with the older lads in the U20s and even with the U19s, they’re still a year older than I am so I can’t wait to get involved really.
“I think I’ve got eight caps from the various teams now, so hopefully I can get a ninth cap against Turkey.
“Playing for England is massive for every young lad and it’s just a dream come true for me. When you’re younger and starting out you always say that you want to play for England and to just be involved with any England squad is amazing. I love every minute of it when I’m there, and just to put an England shirt on your back is really good.”
Of course, Gardner isn’t the first of his family to be recognised at international level, with his Villa club mate and older brother Craig having been a regular at Under-21 level and in the Villa first team over the last few years.
“Craig’s a massive role model to me,” he revealed.
“I’ve looked up to him since I was a little kid and I’ve seen what it takes to get to the Premiership and Under-21 level.
“Whenever I play for England, he usually texts me straight after the game, tells me what I did wrong and what I did right and I don’t think I could ask for a better older brother that plays football.”
Tickets for tonight’s game are FREE, so call 0871 221 1889. You can also read the full interview with Gary in the official matchday programme, which can be bought here.