Kyle Walker has dismissed any notion that the pain of missing out on a Euro 2012 place could be eased by the fact he may have plenty of chances to feature for England at a major tournament.
The Tottenham defender has enjoyed a stellar season so far.
A regular under Harry Redknapp, Walker earned his first two England caps in November, has recently been crowned PFA Young Player of the Year and only last week was awarded a new five-year contract at Spurs.
Not bad for a 21-year-old, who four years ago was in the reserve team at Sheffield United and spent last term on loan at Aston Villa.
However, the Sheffield-born defender is not yet satisfied.
He is desperate to be part of the 23-man squad new manager Roy Hodgson is set to unveil for this summer’s European Championships next Wednesday. And there will be no consolation if he fails.
Launching the new Vauxhall youth initiative Football Mash Up in Luton, Walker said: “No chance. It does matter.
“I want to represent my country. It is the thing I have been dreaming about since I was a little kid.
“I used to play countless games on the PlayStation. I was always England. I wished I was there and, fingers crossed, I will be on that plane.
“I have an important game for Tottenham against Fulham first.
“Hopefully I can cap off a great season and then it will follow on into the summer.”
While there are many who feel Walker will be an automatic choice, he realises the situation is not quite so simple.
Liverpool’s Glen Johnson was clearly the preferred pick of former boss Fabio Capello but the Italian’s shock exit has offered Manchester City’s Micah Richards an opportunity that otherwise might not have arisen.
In addition, Manchester United duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones both featured for the Three Lions in competitive games before Walker’s debut came in the November friendly defeat of world champions Spain at Wembley.
“There is massive competition for the right-back slot,” he said.
“But I am still learning and still want to learn. I am trying to be the best I can be.
“I didn’t expect to be in this position but I have learned in football that anything can happen,” he said.
“It is only four years ago that I was playing in the reserves at Sheffield United.
“It has been an incredible four years.
“Hopefully I am on that plane, then I will be in the team singing the national anthem.
“Who knows what will happen from there? We might even get a medal.”