City midfielder thrilled to be pulling on an England shirt again ahead of U21 qualifier in Turkey
PUBLISHED: 20:37 05 September 2019 | UPDATED: 20:37 05 September 2019
Todd Cantwell is excited to have returned to the England set-up, as the Norwich City academy product targets his first under-21 cap.
The midfielder is in the U21 squad alongside Canaries team-mates Max Aarons and Ben Godfrey for a Euro 2021 qualifier in Turkey on Friday evening (6.45pm), with all three looking to add to caps at younger levels.
For Cantwell that was with the U17s back in 2014, winning four caps at the Nordic Tournament in Denmark, scoring in a draw with Finland.
"It was great at the time, I was absolutely over the moon, as you are whenever you get the call to play for your country," he reflected, ahead of the game.
"That was a really good tournament, it was nice for me at the time to get away and put on the shirt and it gave me a taste for it so I wanted to come back and play again in an England shirt.
"But I was pretty young, and people always said to me that the most important time to play for your country would be for the under-21s and then breaking into the senior team.
"So I never really concentrated too much on breaking into the youth levels, but it's going to be brilliant to be a part of it again."
Since then the Dereham-raised talent has come a long way, helping Fortuna Sittard earn promotion to the Dutch top flight during a successful loan spell in 2018 and then featuring regularly as City won the Championship title last season.
After two assists and a goal from his first four Premier League games, Cantwell is now looking to prove he belongs in Aidy Boothroyd's U21 squad.
"There's a lot of new faces in the group, so it's been about people getting to know each other for the first few days," he said, speaking to the FA's website from the squad's base in Izmit.
"That helps to set the foundations so you have an understanding of the personalities and everything, but we've got some good players and I'm sure we can all click together and play well.
"We've got the foundations in place now with everybody working together and now we're looking forward to Turkey. We've had a look at how we can counter-balance what they might want to do, with how we want to play so we're hoping for a good result and to bring back the points."
Being alongside City defenders Aarons and Godfrey, who have been capped at U19 and U20 levels respectively, adds a special edge to the game for the young trio.
"It's been brilliant," Cantwell continued: "It was great that Max and Ben were called up at the same time so it's nice to be here and it's definitely somewhere that you want to be.
"We've known each other for quite a long time now, and we're all playing week in and week out in the Premier League at the moment, which is great and being out here with England is an extra bonus really.
"The call came as a surprise, I wouldn't say I was expecting it by any means.
"It's been a good start to the season for me personally, but I wasn't anticipating anything this early so it's brilliant for me."
Qualification for the 2021 finals in Hungary and Slovenia continues on Monday when the Young Lions take on Kosovo at the Hull City's KCOM Stadium (6.45pm kick-off).