Brighton & Hove Albion defender Lewis Dunk spoke of fulfilling a dream after making his England debut in last night’s victory over USA at Wembley Stadium.
The Seagulls’ academy product claimed his first Three Lions cap during the 3-0 win and was delighted, having played the entity of the contest.
He said, “It’s a dream come true – it’s been a long hard journey for me and that’s been rewarded this evening.
“I had a feeling during the week in training that tonight be my chance, because we did some shape work.
“We then worked on set-pieces after that, and that’s when I knew I was starting the game.”
Gareth Southgate was the man who handed the defender his first start for the national side to give Dunk the milestone, and the Albion man reflected on all the people who’ve helped him reach the landmark during his career.
“When I was walking out there was a lot of thoughts looking back on where I’ve come from – but then it was about me being comfortable in the game – and getting the words to the anthem right!
“I was thinking about a lot of people – everyone who’s worked with me over my career to get me to this point, and I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them.
“My dad’s the main one, he was here tonight watching me – as were all my family and friends, I’m very thankful.”
Since signing a new five-year deal with the club in October, Dunk has made two of Southgate’s England selections and netted twice in the Premier League.
Even after targeting an England appearance when he put pen to paper on the new deal last month, he admitted that the accolade had arrived sooner than expected.
“I probably didn’t think that the first cap would have come as soon as it did since I signed my new deal – even though it was always one of the next targets in my career.
“But it’s happened, and I’m delighted, I want to stay in the squad now and keep playing.
“I’ll need to keep working hard and show everyone what I can do, that way I’ll give myself the best chance of being in many more teams to come.”