Men's Under 21s
Men's Under 21s

Aaron Wan-Bissaka says message from his dad after first U21s call will stay with him

Wednesday 05 Sep 2018
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been speaking about his first call-up to the England U21s squad this week

Aaron Wan-Bissaka admits he could sense the hidden pride of his father when telling him about his first call-up to the England U21 squad.

The Crystal Palace defender has been in eye-catching form since breaking into Roy Hodgson’s team earlier this year and after his first taste of life with England in the U20s in March, he stepped into Aidy Boothroyd’s squad.

And he says he took a little time to himself to reflect on his call-up before breaking the news to his father.

“I didn’t tell no-one [about the call-up], I just kept it to myself for a bit,” revealed Wan-Bissaka.

“I want to look at it like a shock but at the same time, I don’t want it to get to me or get to my head.

“So I leave it for a bit and then first I’ll tell my dad and then go onto my friends and that’s how I tell everyone.

“I know my dad’s excited, but he just doesn’t show it on purpose.

“There’s a thing when he says: ‘Good, but just keep going and keep working hard, it doesn’t stop here’, which helps me.

Wan-Bissaka gets a feel for the ball in training at St. George's


“To get called up for the U20s last season, I was so excited because I’d never had one [England call-up] before and it was another new challenge.

“I like new challenges as it’s something I can learn from so I just wanted to get started.”

Croydon-born Wan-Bissaka joined up with his new squad mates at St. George’s Park ahead of their Euro qualifier with the Netherlands in Norwich and trip to play Latvia in Jelgava.

His first training session with the group left the 20-year-old impressed at the ability on offer to Boothroyd.

“The squad is strong and to be involved in it means a lot to me,” added Wan-Bissaka, who once played as a forward against England for DR Congo in a friendly match at St. George’s Park in 2015.

Wan-Bissaka was capped by England U20s last season


“I can see the squad is a hard-working team and very focused and professional and it’s a team that will push you and carry you to where you need to get to.

“Everyone wants to work hard and focus and you can feel the difference in the training sessions with the U21s.

“The tempo is high and the pace is up so you’ve got to focus on it, to keep up.

“I was looking forward to it and I enjoyed it as well and I thought I learned something from the first session, which all helps towards my game.”

By Nicholas Veevers