Conor Gallagher is hoping to take his impressive start to the new season onto the international stage with England U20s.
The midfielder is currently loving life on loan with Charlton Athletic, after signing for the season from Chelsea, with three goals to his name already for the Championship high-fliers.
And as the Young Lions prepare for games with the Netherlands and Switzerland over the next week, Gallagher believes he’s in the right place to push on under head coach Keith Downing.
- Men's U20 International
- 7pm, Thursday 5 September
- Montgomery Waters Meadow, Shrewsbury
- Tickets: £5/£1
“The manager always says to us that the aim for us should be to get into that U21s squad and that’s the main thing, finding that pathway,” said Gallagher, during preparations for their first game with the Dutch in Shrewsbury.
“Obviously, the seniors is the dream but first, it’s just to try and get in the U21s.
“He always says to us that there’s no reason why we can’t, if we’re playing regularly for our clubs and playing well with England, then we’re going to get picked, it’s as simple as that so everyone knows it’s possible and there’s a pathway for us.”
Epsom-born Gallagher, 19, had been with boyhood club Chelsea since he was eight, before deciding to make the temporary move across London this season.
And he admits he’s enjoying life outside of the ‘bubble’ as Lee Bowyer’s newly-promoted Addicks have surprised many in the Championship so far.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better start at Charlton to be honest,” he adds.
“We’ve played six games, we haven’t lost yet, we’re second in the league and I’ve scored a few goals and assisted a couple.
“We were probably favourites to come last I think, so to start the way we have is great and I’m just hoping we can carry on.
“At Chelsea, it’s a bit of a bubble really because everything’s done for you and made easy, especially for me as I only live about ten minutes from the training ground.
“So I think it’s been good for me to go out and get some experience in men’s football in the Championship. The main thing for me is just to play as many matches as possible and I’m looking to do keep doing that with England this week.”
Even though he’s currently away from Stamford Bridge, Gallagher is encouraged by what’s happening at the club this season.
With fellow academy players such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham featuring under Frank Lampard this season, he believes it gives hope to all the players in their junior ranks.
“Obviously, with Jody Morris being our old manager with the U18s and Frank showing faith in the young players like Mason and Tammy, it gives all of the youngsters at Chelsea hope that they can now get in the first team some day,” he revealed.
“When Mason and Tammy scored the other week, I know it gave everyone a boost and it just shows that if you play the youngsters, they can do well.
“Mason and Tammy are obviously great players and they’re proving themselves in the first team but there’s some great players who are ready to prove themselves as well.
“It makes them work even harder to impress the manager and his coaches.”
Tickets for England U20s’ game with Netherlands at Shrewsbury Town FC cost just £5 for £1 and will be available on the evening.BUY TICKETS FOR NETHERLANDS