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Butland eyes England debut

13 August 2012 18:39

Birmingham City's Jack Butland is hoping to fulfil a lifelong ambition on Wednesday, by making his senior England debut against Italy.

The 19-year-old goalkeeper, who was included in both Roy Hodgson's squad for Euro 2012 and Stuart Pearce's Team GB squad for the London Olympics, could replace Manchester City's Joe Hart, who is suffering from a back problem.

Norwich keeper John Ruddy, who Butland replaced in Ukraine and Poland, is also in the squad, but Hodgson could choose to hand the youngster a start in the friendly.

Butland told reporters: "That's what dreams are made of, isn't it?

"Hopefully it will come. Unfortunately it is due to an injury to Joe, but if I get the chance it will be a dream come true and it's something I can't stop thinking about.

"I would love the chance to be able to play on that stage on Wednesday night."

Butland made his England Under-21 debut in September last year, before spending the majority of the season on loan at League Two club Cheltenham Town.

He kept seven clean sheets in his first 12 appearances at Whaddon Road before being a surprise inclusion in Hodgson's 23-man squad for the European Championship.

"I'm not going to try and put too much pressure on myself and expect anything," Butland said.

"Not a lot of goalkeepers get the chance at such a young age, so I'm very privileged to be in this position and I'm going to try and take everything in my stride. If it doesn't happen on Wednesday, I'll be working even harder to try and make it happen on a different occasion.

"It's something I'm very excited for and I've been working towards, but I also understand that I've got a long way to go. But this is where I want to be and at the top is where I want to play."

Butland has a chance to become the youngest goalkeeper for 124 years to represent his country at senior level.

"I couldn't help but look that up, I looked on Google the other day and tried to see," he said.

"If I get that chance that's fantastic. But I'm still young, I'm still working very hard and if it does come, I'll be over the moon."

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