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Butland keen to become England number one

14 Aug 2012 07:46:58

Butland keen to become England number one

Jack Butland wants to push Joe Hart for the England number one spot but is determined to stay level-headed following his rapid rise up the footballing ladder.

The Birmingham goalkeeper is in contention to make his England debut in Wednesday evening's friendly international with Italy in Berne. Butland spent part of last season on loan at League Two side Cheltenham before the 19-year-old ended up being called into the Euro 2012 squad and was Team GB's keeper during the Olympic Games.

But he is conscious of not getting carried away, and said: "Things have happened so quickly for me and I'm thankful for the family I have. They make sure I don't get ahead of myself, which is something I hate to see in players. The term 'big time', I hate to see that."

He added: "That is something I am trying to avoid myself, I don't think I will have trouble doing that. I just think it's the borderline between confidence and arrogance really.

"Any professional needs to be confident in your own ability and what you can achieve, but there's a line between that and arrogance which not a lot of people step over. But it's a very careful line because it can taint people's views of you and, once you've lost that, it can be very difficult to get it back."

Butland is aware he still has much to learn but is keen to push Hart, absent from the Italian clash with a slight back injury, as quickly as possible,

He said: "Joe is a fantastic keeper and I want to challenge him as soon as I can. Being number one for England is something I've always dreamed of doing. Joe is in there at the moment and only one can play.

"My target for the coming years is to be the biggest challenge I possibly can and stay in this squad for as long as possible because this is where I want to be for the foreseeable future."

Butland also recognises he may alternate between the senior and under-21 squads to help with his development.

He said: "We've had the conversation already because there is nothing better than playing games. Throughout the years it's going to be a balance. Will I go on trips with the senior team and then which games will I play for the under-21s? I know I have to play. As fantastic an experience as it is to come away with the senior squad there is no better way to learn than play games."


PA

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