Ex-Blade Dominic Calvert-Lewin hoping to avoid silent treatment from his dad after England debut

Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin (centre) has been in rich form this season.Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin (centre) has been in rich form this season.
Everton's Dominic Calvert-Lewin (centre) has been in rich form this season.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin hopes he will not be getting the silent treatment from his father if he makes his England debut this week.

The Everton striker is in the Three Lions senior squad for the first time after a sensational start to the season for his club.

Calvert-Lewin has scored nine goals in six games in all competitions this season, including two hat-tricks, and looks a good bet to get the nod from manager Gareth Southgate for the games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark over the next eight days.

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Pulling on the England shirt would cap an impressive journey for Calvert-Lewin, who has come a long way since being driven to games around Sheffield by his dad as a youngster.

He was never left in any doubt about how his father rated his performances back then and that is why he hopes to be getting a call from him if he does win his first cap.

“For my dad, he’s my biggest fan,” the former Sheffield United forward said. “From a young boy, I always looked for his opinion to gauge how I was playing.

“If I played well, he would speak to me in the car. If I didn’t play well, sometimes he wouldn’t speak to me.

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“From early on, that was a mental learning curve. I know he’s the proudest man on the planet at the minute. I’m very grateful for his backing and one thing he has always said is just believe in yourself and believe in your ability.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from. It’s about backing yourself and believing you can get there.

“I think that is the only disappointing thing that my family can’t be here to watch it, but that is the nature of the beast at this moment in time.”

As well as some tough love from his father, a loan spell at non-league Stalybridge Celtic also helped shape him.

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As a teenager he was sent to Stalybridge from Sheffield United and was given a tough introduction to non-league life.

“I don’t know if you can see, I’ve still got the scar under my eye from the first 20 mins of playing for Stalybridge,” he said. “I played the rest of the game with one eye because this one closed up.

“That experience at the time – it was the most I’d ever enjoyed my football up to that point.

“It was thoroughly enjoyable and it just gave me that sense of what it was to play in front of fans and to play proper men’s football and play for three points.

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“At 17 it was definitely what I needed. Definitely a catalyst in propelling me forward and helping me get here.

“I think sometimes when you go through the academy and then you’re a scholar, everything’s quite nice and easy and then you realise that players are playing to put food on the table, they are playing for three points and it means that much more.

“It’s an eye-opener at a young age and I’m glad I had that experience, because now I don’t take it for granted and it was a humbling experience as well, but definitely part and parcel of men’s football.”

Another influential figure in his career is Duncan Ferguson, who knew more than a thing or two about being aggressive.

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Calvert-Lewin added: “Firstly, people have Duncan down for this big, angry man and he’s a nice guy when you actually get up close with him, but, in terms of on the pitch, he told me to back myself more and believe in my stature and back my strength.

“I think it’s a confidence thing – once you realise you can do it once, you start to do it more consistently and then it becomes part of your game which I think is what’s happened.”

On his prospects of making his England debut this week, he added: “I’ve not played my first game yet but I’m just looking forward to it and am excited just to get on the pitch,” the former Sheffield United said.

“I’m sure that the Premier League is the best league in the world, I’m playing there consistently well at the moment so I’ve got no fears in playing for England. It’s a kid’s dream to play for the country and I’m very privileged to be here now.

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“I don’t think you can ever plan how you’re going to feel when you first get called up for your country and for me I’ve thought about it for a long time and I’ve worked extremely hard to get here.

“I was obviously concentrating on playing for Everton and winning games. As the time nears you hope you might be in the manager’s thoughts to be called up to your country.

“For me to be here, it’s something that I have thought long and hard about and dreamed of for a long time.”

Calvert-Lewin’s chances of making his debut will have increased by the absence of fellow striker Tammy Abraham, who along with Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho have yet to join up with the squad.

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The trio’s arrival has been delayed while the Football Association investigates reports the trio attended a party in breach of coronavirus restrictions.

Calvert-Lewin says Southgate again reminded the players of their responsibilities in a team meeting on Monday.

He added: “It’s a tough situation but they’ve apologised so you have to move on.”

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