Tayo Edun was delighted with the faith shown in him by head coach Neil Dewsnip ahead of this month’s Under-17 World Cup in Chile.
The Fulham man has been selected in the final England squad for the tournament, but he admitted he was concerned about his inclusion after receiving two red cards for country – one for the U17s and one for the U18s – earlier this year.
Speaking to fulhamfc.com, Edun said: “I wasn’t sure about the call-up because I had a bit of a rough time, getting sent off twice in my last two games.
“So I’m happy that the coach trusts me in such a big competition and I’m pleased that he hasn’t made any drastic changes and taken me out!
“I’m happy that he’s trusted me because understandably he would have had a couple of doubts, but I’m ready to go and show him that it’s worth taking me. I’ve never been to South America before so it should be a good experience.”
Edun has been a regular in the Under-17 squad since first being called up at the end of last year, and feels at home now in the group.
“I’m quite familiar with a lot of the boys,” he explained. “I even come and see them when I’m away from Fulham. Outside of the Club I’ll go and see some of them now and again, so they’re familiar faces.”
Another recognisable face that he may come across in Chile is Luca de la Torre, who has been named in the United States squad.
“We spoke about our groups and he was saying how he’s drawn quite a tough one,” Edun stated. “But obviously America are a strong side – I played them on my debut for England. We’re quite confident that both of our teams can go far.
“As a group, England are very confident. We’ve found a bit more consistency since I first joined the squad about a year ago and we just seem to keep improving.”
This season the 17-year-old has made four appearances for Fulham’s Under-21 side, occupying a central midfield role on each occasion.
Primarily a full-back – which is where he tends to feature for the national team – Edun is happy to fill in wherever he’s needed for club or country.
“I prefer left-back but wherever you play on the pitch you’ve got to do the job for the team,” he said. “It’s good for me to have that option that I can help out at left-back or centre-mid. Like I said, I prefer left-back, but I don’t mind doing a job further forward if needed.
“I like playing for the 21s a lot. I think Peter Grant’s got a good idea of how to improve us as a team and as individuals. He has a lot of advice for everyone in each and every position.
“As you can see, this year we’ve started better than we finished last season, so we’re going onwards and upwards.”
Edun’s previous outing saw him play alongside someone else who’s worn the Three Lions on their shirt before, as he and Scott Parker anchored the U21s’ midfield against Derby County.
“It was a very good moment for me,” he admitted. “Scott’s obviously very experienced and even just training with him was very good for a lot of us because you can see how you have to behave and the type of things you have to do on the pitch just to step it up a level. Playing alongside him gave me a lot of confidence.”