Lee Hodson has pledged to stick with Northern Ireland after making his debut on Wednesday night in the 1-1 draw against Morocco.
The player who comes from Watford and graduated from their ASE programme in the summer is still eligible for England because the fixture was only a friendly.
Hodson, who broke in to the Watford first-team while still an Apprentice last term, insists that he is happy with his choice:
“I’ve made my debut now and I’m going to stick with it, said Hodson. “Hopefully in the future I can get more caps. I’m still young, but I want more of this.”
Fellow debutant and Preston North End ASE graduate Adam Barton impressed in midfield and Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington will now hope to persuade the player that his future lies with Irish.
But while Barton’s future is far from certain Hodson is relishing the prospect of more caps after sampling the Windsor Park atmosphere from the pitch for the first time.
“It’s great for my career and a great experience for me to walk out at Windsor Park. It felt fantastic,” he said.
“I’ve been with Northern Ireland for quite a long time now and when an opportunity like this comes along you can’t turn it down.”
“I’ve played at under-19 and under-21 level and when I got called up being from England didn’t come into account when I got this call. Being in the squad at such a young age, I was just pleased to be out there in a Northern Ireland shirt.”