Conor Coady recalls the phone call he says he'll remember for the rest of his life

Thursday 03 Sep 2020
Conor Coady during one of his first training sessions with the England men's senior squad

Conor Coady has spoken of the amazing moment when he found out that he’d been called into the England squad for the first time.

The Wolverhampton Wanderers captain was added to Gareth Southgate’s group for this month’s UEFA Nations League games with Iceland and Denmark last Saturday.

And the 27 year old revealed it was a day he won’t forget in a hurry, after initially planning a day out with his family.

“There’s a little story, as I was actually taking our little boy round to his friends’ house on our estate,” he explained.

“We’ve got a bit of a pond in the middle of our estate and my phone was going off in my pocket and it was one of them where I was thinking: ‘I’ll ring them back when I get home…’

“I had the kids, that sort of thing, then I got my phone out later and there was a text saying: ‘Gareth Southgate is trying to ring you.’

Coady joins in with training at St. George's Park

“So I picked the boys up, ran back to the house and my little boy missed ten minutes or whatever it was of playing with his mates.

“I ran back and said to my wife: ‘Gareth Southgate’s trying to ring me.’

“She got all excited so I rang the number back and it was a phone call I will never forget for the rest of my life. It was incredible.

“I was shaking, it was just an honour to receive it. He asked about the family, how the break was, if we needed a break and different things. Then he just mentioned about meeting up and it would be a pleasure to have me down here.

“I said I would be honoured, it’s an incredible moment for me and it’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It was an incredible phone call. I was shaking but I was honoured by it.

 

“Then I rang my mum and dad straight away, my wife was on the call and we actually said: ‘we have a bit of news for you.’

“I had my arm around my wife and my mum and dad said: ‘Amy isn’t pregnant again is she?’ as that is what they thought at the time and I have three boys already.

“No, they got upset my mum and dad because as every player will tell you to come here is a real special feeling.

“You always dream about it, you always think about it, I have always watched England since I was a young boy.

“Every tournament, every game I tune in for because I enjoy watching England. Whether I’m here or not, I just like watching England play.

“It’s been something I've done my whole life but the last two years it's been something of a dream. As I mentioned before, getting that phone call the other day was absolutely incredible.”

Now Coady is settled into his St. George’s Park surroundings and new squad mates, he’s aiming to make the best impression he can with the ultimate target of becoming a regular.

Coady captained England MU17s to the Euro title just over ten years ago

“Being here is absolutely amazing,” he added. “To think about making my debut for the England national team and doing something like that would be amazing.

“I need to improve and help this team in training and that is something I will give my all with.

“That is what we are all here for – we want to make England better. All the lads know that when we're out training, we have got to improve and get better as much as possible.

“Of course, caps for England would be incredible. I know in my own head that’s something I want to do – and everybody is fighting to do it.

“I need to be ready for whenever – if that time ever comes.”

Coady already has a number of memories with England to look back on, after featuring at different age group levels with the Young Lions during his younger years.

Coady was captain of England MU20s at the 2013 U20 World Cup in Turkey

He even had the honour of captaining England to an U17 EURO title in 2010, as well as skippering Peter Taylor's squad at the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup.

“They’re really special memories,” he said.

“We won the EUROs at U17 and that was an incredible team. To win something with the England shirt on is incredible and that's what they are – special memories. 

“I’ve got the medal in my house and it was an incredible thing that we did. I played at an U20 World Cup and though we didn’t do too well, the experience was incredible – something I really enjoyed.

“I look at where I am now and I am proud. There is a sense of pride, sitting here now. It’s just fantastic.”

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By Nicholas Veevers