Jordan Pickford remembers his first England call-up well… because Wayne Rooney took a picture of him looking terrified


JORDAN PICKFORD remembers being England’s new boy – as Wayne Rooney took a PICTURE of how nervous he was.

Thursday January 01, 1970

The Three Lions No 1 was given his first call-up two years and admits getting the butterflies that Jadon Sancho, Mason Mount, James Maddison and Lewis Dunk have been feeling this week.

Thursday January 01, 1970

Pickford said: “I remember my first camp – I was at Sunderland at the time.

Jordan Pickford remembers his first England cap like it was yesterday
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Pickford, 24, said his loan spells – while at Sunderland – helped him mature as a player[/caption]

Thursday January 01, 1970

 “Wazza took a photo and sent it to John O’Shea because I was sat opposite him at the time and I was really nervous.

“I think you are going to be nervous and you’d be lying to yourself if you said you weren’t nervous at your first England camp.

“But it’s about getting on the training pitch, enjoying your football and showing what you are made of.”

England’s rookie’s have all had experience away from the Premier League, whether that is in the Championship or abroad.

Pickford, 24, went on SIX loans while at Sunderland and reckons he benefited from the experience of senior football – instead of playing in the Under-23s which has been criticised for not being competitive.

Pickford had an excellent World Cup in Russia for England
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Pickford’s ex-Everton team-mate Rooney caught him off guard on his first international camp with England

He said: “I always wanted to be going out on loan and playing football and maturing as a goalkeeper.

“For me, going out on loan and playing men’s football was crucial and I was getting bored of playing Under-23 football because I wasn’t getting tested.

“I would advise that if you can get out on loan and play football it is the best path to go down.

“It depends what path you want to take really. I went on a lot of loans and that worked out for me, I can only speak for myself but Jadon is over in the German league and he is excelling.

“Same as Ademola Lookman, he had half a season at Leipzig and has come back to Everton and is flying.

“There are both paths and as long as it works for you individually it will bring success.

“Playing football is crucial in the men’s game and even if you are 17, 18, 19 – whatever age you are if you are getting that experience under your belt it is only going to make you better as a player because you get more maturity and experience playing in those games which will benefit you.”

Pickford went from non-league football on loan to the World Cup semi-final against Croatia, who England face tomorrow night in the UEFA Nations League.

He added: “It would be nice to get one over them but they will always have that they beat us in the semi-final.

“It is another season, another campaign with England and we want to be beating the top teams and they are ranked in the top 10 as well as Spain and we want to be pushing ourselves to beat these teams as part of our progression.”