Toney opens up on moment he received England call-up; says he ‘never doubted it’ would come

·2-min read
Ivan Toney on the big screen at the Gtech Community Stadium Credit: PA Images
Ivan Toney on the big screen at the Gtech Community Stadium Credit: PA Images

Ivan Toney is hoping to become the first Brentford player to represent England since 1939 when the Three Lions take on Italy this week.

The 26-year-old was included in Gareth Southgate’s squad following a fine start to the season with the Bees, having spent years plying his trade in the EFL to reach the Premier League.

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“Never doubted it,” he said when asked about his inclusion.

“I feel like I have full confidence in myself, I have just got to keep working hard and it makes it that much sweeter when you get the chance.

“I never played for any of the other age groups so going straight to the senior squad is a big achievement. I’m proud of it and I wouldn’t want it to go any other way.”

England travel to Milan to face Italy in the Nations League on Friday before hosting Germany at Wembley three days later.

“So surreal,” Toney added when asked how it felt to be in and around the squad preparing for the games.

“I feel like sitting here in an England top is such a privilege and is massive for me and my family and also my club.

“It is not just me that has done this, it is everyone around me that has played a massive part.”

Toney also recounted the moment Brentford boss Thomas Frank informed him he was called up.

He said: “I was driving to training, the Brentford gaffer called me. I was running a bit late so I actually thought he was calling about my timekeeping!

“He just said he was privileged to tell me I had been called up to the England squad. It was the first time in my life I haven’t had anything to say.

“I was driving to training thinking, ‘Wow, I’m actually going to play with the senior England squad’.

“We have a family group chat, I video called everybody, I broke the news and they were screaming for about 20 minutes. My dad was beeping his horn, wherever he was.

“It is a massive opportunity for me to get myself on the plane (to the World Cup in Qatar). But I’ve just got to go game by game. Hopefully I’ll get a few minutes in the games we have.”

As mentioned prior, an England appearance would make Toney the first Brentford man to play for the Three Lions since the 1930s.

The last Bees player to represent England was Les Smith 83 years ago, three years after Billy Scott became the first.

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