Tariq Lamptey says it’s a privilege to be involved with England’s under-21 team after making his debut in midweek.
The Albion right-sided defender played 72 minutes of Tuesday’s European Championship qualifier against Austria which England won 2-1.
Lamptey, 19, was on standby before getting promoted to the full squad last week. He was an unused substitute in last Friday’s 6-0 win against Kosovo.
He said, “I’m so delighted, it was a proud moment for me and my family to get the call-up and there aren’t many better feelings than hearing the national anthem.
“I feel privileged to be involved with the group. I’ve been working hard in training and matches and I’m just grateful I was given the opportunity.”
Lamptey says hearing about his promotion to the full squad last week was a ‘surreal’ experience.
“I was at home watching TV, I’d been training with Brighton that day as normal,” he said.
“I knew there was a chance I might be called up, but when that text came through, I was so excited.
“It all happened really quickly, and it was quite surreal. I was getting ready for a day off and then instead was flying out to Kosovo.”
Lamptey has represented England at under-18, 19 and 20 level and there were plenty of players from those age group squads, as well as team-mates from former club Chelsea, to help him settle into the under-21 group.
“It’s a really talented squad with the best in the country who are there for a reason,” he added.
“I know quite a few of them from previous age-groups so it was good to see everyone again. I think it’s really important a lot of us have that familiarity through the age groups with England.
“We’ve known each other for a long time, and we know how one another play.
“I’ve played with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Jonathan Panzo, Max Aarons, Marc Guehi, Connor Gallagher and a few others which I think helps our team morale as well.”
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Tuesday’s victory over Austria stretched England’s winning run in qualifiers to seven games.
“I thought we fought well against a tough opponent,” said Lamptey.
“We had to grind out the result, but we also played some good football at times.
“Hopefully we can qualify for the European Championships next summer, but I can’t look too far ahead. I know I have to keep working hard every day at Brighton and we’ll see what happens from there.”