Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope is setting himself new objectives for the future

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope gets to grips with life back at St George's Park with the England squad
Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope gets to grips with life back at St George's Park with the England squad

After earning his first England cap and becoming Burnley's number one, goalkeeper Nick Pope is setting himself new goals for the future.

The Soham-born stopper, who started out at Bury Town after being released by boyhood club Ipswich Town as a teenager, is slowly working his way through his bucket list.

One of those objectives at the forefront of his ambition is to become first choice for the Three Lions, a dream that he believes is more than manageable within time.

The number one jersey is currently owned by Jordan Pickford, a friend of Pope's, and he comes to Turf Moor with Everton on Saturday.

Following the Premier League meeting the pair will then be reunited at St George's Park alongside former Clarets skipper Tom Heaton, who was between the sticks for Aston Villa in the West Midlands last weekend.

Competing with friends is nothing new for the 27-year-old stopper, it's par for the course in football, and it's an obligation that will continue to push him on to the next level.

"There is competition with the English goalkeepers in the Premier League and we're up against them at some point over the season," he said.

"As well as being competitors we're also good friends, it's always good to see each other whether it's as part of a squad or playing against each other on a Saturday.

"It's always good to catch up and have conversations. I'm looking forward to seeing Jordan at the weekend.

"We’ve got a few things in common. When you see each other you speak more and away from the pitch at England we spend time together as well.

"We get on great as friends and when we do get to catch up we do get on really well. When training time comes along we do try to push each other to get better.

"That's the environment of a goalkeeper, you get used to that when you go through the levels from a young age.

"You give your all and then the manager picks the team. You are very much supportive of whoever is playing."

The former Charlton Athletic goalkeeper, who has now made 42 appearances in the Premier League since his switch from The Valley, made his only appearance for Gareth Southgate's side in a 2-0 win over Costa Rica at Elland Road last summer.

Pope then travelled to Russia with the squad for the FIFA World Cup as they reached the semi-final of the competition.

Now he's hungry for more. "It is something that is an aim for me [becoming England number one] and that I want to look at.

"There is a long way to go, we are seven games into the season and I have just come off an injury of six months.

"It is maybe not for the immediate future, but it is something longer term that I can think of as a goal of mine.

"To get that cap under my belt was a massive privilege and honour as was to be part of the World Cup squad so that is one dream fulfilled and it is now about moving on and setting new targets and new goals."

Pope is excited by the talent that fills the pool of England goalkeepers and he knows that competition for places in the group is bound to heighten.

He said: "It’s a great time for it you’d have to say.

"I think there’s like six or seven and there’s great competition. It’s great for England and we’ve got a lot of competition in all places.

"There’s a lot of goalkeepers. Dean [Henderson] and Aaron [Ramsdale] are new to the Premier League and have started really well. I just have to carry on now and see how it goes."