Conor Coady says he never felt snubbed by England - because he never once felt he deserved to be in the squad before.
The humble Wolves defender is a massive Three Lions fan who watches every game they play and has always dreamed of playing for his country.
After captaining the Under 17s to the Euro 2010 title, many thought Coady’s time would come years ago - but he never felt slighted when others were chosen instead.
Coady said: “Looking at other squads, I’ve never ever once thought I should be in there because that’s not the type of person I am.
“I can’t affect that. All I can affect is playing well for Wolves. But now that I’m actually here it’s a dream come true and I’ll give my all.
“Every England player has a desire and passion to play for the national team. It’s something that comes with the job. If you don’t have that, there’s a bit of a problem.”
Sold at 21 by Liverpool to Huddersfield for just £500,000 in 2014, it’s been a steady rise back to the top for Coady, who has gone from strength to strength at Wolves.
He said: “It’s amazing when I think back and I look at where I was playing before. I went out on loan, Sheffield United in League One, then I went to Huddersfield.
“I was lucky that Wolves came in for me, it’s an amazing club and I’ve been honoured to play for them. Looking back, it’s been a hell of a journey but now that I’m here I will try and embrace it.”
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Coady has never needed any reassurance from Gareth Southgate that his time would come, saying: “ I knew he was at games but I never needed that.
“He’s the national team manager. He’s got more important things to be looking at and getting on with than speaking to the likes of me. It’s no problem. But the phone call the other day was incredible.”
Coady’s parents and his wife Amie were in tears when they found out the 27-year-old could soon become the first Wolves player to play for England since Matt Jarvis in 2011.
But he took it all in his stride, saying: “I never shed a tear because I’m not emotional. But Amie did and my parents. It was lovely to see. Now I am here, I just want to help as much as possible.”