Heaton’s delight at England call

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Tom Heaton’s first England call up has given him extra motivation to continue to improve.

The 29-year-old became the first Burnley player selected for the senior squad since Martin Dobson in 1974 when named in Roy Hodgson’s pool for the games against the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia on Thursday.

Tom Heaton is over the moon at England call-up

Tom Heaton is over the moon at England call-up

Heaton himself was told of the honour by manager Sean Dyche on Tuesday night during the supporters’ clubs’ player of the year night - where he picked up three awards.

And he admitted: “I’m absolutely delighted. You dream of it as a kid.

“After I found out on Tuesday night I woke up on Wednesday morning with a emotion of an extra impetus to keep getting better, keep improving and looking forward to the opportunity of actually getting there.

“It’s all been about the improvement and the progress and that’s certainly not changed.

I’m absolutely delighted. You dream of it as a kid

Tom Heaton

“It’s a nice accolade to be called-up to the England squad but I still want more and I will still be striving for more.

“I feel I have got better again this year and I still feel I want to keep going up that curve.”

He had been due to go away with his wife on holiday after Burnley’s season ends tomorrow after the game at Aston Villa, but his plans will now have to be rearranged: “I wouldn’t have a summer to be involved in this. It’s that sort of thing.

“I had a week in Portugal which I am coming back a couple of days early from and 10 days in South Africa which I will be flying out a bit late for. It’s worth it.

Tom Heaton has been a stand-out performer for the Clarets this season

Tom Heaton has been a stand-out performer for the Clarets this season

“I would cancel the whole thing!

And he is looking forward to working again with England number one Joe Hart, who he was involved with at Under 21 level: “I have been fortunate enough to work with Joe before with the Under 21s and growing up when he was with City and I was at United we played against each other a few times.

“I think he is carrying the torch for goalkeepers around the world. He has been fantastic over a number of years and I can’t speak highly enough of him.

“I am looking forward to working with him again. He is the standard and I will be looking to get to that.

“And I think Rob Green has had an outstanding season. When we played QPR at Loftus Road earlier in the season he produced one of the best saves I have ever seen live from George Boyd.”