Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster has expressed his delight at earning his first senior England call-up.
Calls from the Celtic faithful to give the former Newcastle man the chance to represent his nation have previously fallen on deaf ears, with national manager Roy Hodgson instead opting to place his faith in the largely inexperienced duo of John Ruddy and Jack Butland.
Forster told the club’s website: “I’m obviously delighted and happy to get the call-up. I’m excited as well and just looking forward to meeting up with everyone really. It’s a great opportunity and a great chance to test myself against some great players.
“I got a call from the gaffer yesterday to let me know he thought it was going to happen and then I found out for definite today so I’m thrilled.
“I spoke to my parents last night to let them know, and they were obviously delighted as well.
“Other people have obviously talked about it but I just got it out my head and have been working hard with Woodsy (goalkeeping coach, Stevie Woods) and trying to improve.
“I think it’s recognition for the work we’ve put in and our performances, so I was delighted to get it and it is another incentive to keep pushing on and working hard.”
The 24-year-old, who joined Celtic permanently in the off-season after failing to oust Newcastle No.1 Tim Krul, was quick to thank those who had helped him claim the international call-up, including Hoops boss Lennon, and Forster believes his club manager’s drive ultimately secured him a spot in Hodgson’s squad.
He added: “Things have worked out very well so far at Celtic and I need to say a big thanks to everyone who has been involved. The gaffer has really pushed hard for me to get in. Woodsy has been brilliant along with Kenny McMillan with all sports science stuff.
“Everyone has been really pleased for me, which is a really nice thing, and the other keepers have been brilliant as well. We have a great group here.”