As Dominic Calvert-Lewin prepares for his first match as a member of the senior England men's squad, the striker says he hopes to repay Gareth Southgate’s belief in calling him up.
Speaking to the media – including the Black Collective of Media in Sport – at St. George's Park on Tuesday, Calvert-Lewin said that he was pleased that'd he made the boss aware of him.
"It was nice knowing I was on the manager’s radar," said Calvert-Lewin, who has previously represented England at under-20 and under-21 levels.
"For me I always knew that, to warrant a call up, I needed to keep working hard to merit it and as long as I continued working I would be in with a chance of being in the squad."
The 23 year-old's sensational start to the season has seen him net six times in only four Premier League games so far, which have left him as the division’s top scorer and have propelled his club to the top of the table.
There aren’t many better moments in a player’s career when they are named in the national squad for the first time and Calvert-Lewin certainly expressed those emotions when asked about he found out he was being called up.
"It’s an unbelievable feeling," he affirmed. "I got a text message from Emily from The FA and then from Gareth. Michael Keane and Pickers (Jordan Pickford) came to me (about the call up) but my phone was in my locker at the time. When I saw the message, I was so so happy."
Whenever any player is in a rich vein of form for their club they ultimately have the hope that their national manager is looking at them – and given Calvert-Lewin’s blistering start to the season, he believed it was his time to earn a senior call-up.
"I think you have to (dare to dream) while obviously not looking too far ahead," he said. "I was only concentrating on playing for Everton and scoring goals, winning games and playing well. As it has gone and the time nears, you then hope that you might be in the manager’s thoughts to be called up for your country.
"As many people say, it’s a dream to play for your country."