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Jack Butland says England squad return is a proud moment

first_img Jack Butland Jack Butland has called being back in the England fold after a long spell on the sidelines a proud moment for him and his family.Stoke goalkeeper Butland returns to Gareth Southgate’s squad to face Scotland in a World Cup qualifier on June 10 and a friendly against France three days later after a year of injury problems which started on England duty in Germany last March.The 24-year-old played just five matches last season after returning from an ankle injury in April and he is delighted to be back in the reckoning for England.Butland told a press conference: “It’s been a long time and I’ve got the three lions back on my chest – I’m wearing that shirt again, which always has been an honour.“It’s a proud moment for me and my family. To be back here after some difficult times is really good and I’m just thoroughly enjoying being back and I’m looking forward to the week ahead.”England’s preparations for their forthcoming matches saw 20 members of the squad – along with key members of the Football Association’s backroom staff – head to the Royal Marines’ Commando Training Centre in Devon.Butland spoke highly of the trip, adding: “It was tough but it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.“We got to experience their way of life, the way they do things, their values and just how tight-knit they are as a family.“I think as a squad and players we all benefited from that. There was a lot to learn – stuff that we’re keen to take forward in what we’re trying to achieve.“I think it was very positive and rewarding for everyone in the squad.“We always want to achieve as well as we can do but if you keep preparing the same, you’ll get the same results. I think that’s something that Gareth lives by and it’s important that we stretch ourselves.“The Marines talk about something called disconnected expectations – which is the shock factor. It’s being taken out of your comfort zone and being able to perform as well as you can do when you’re at your most fatigued and out of your comfort zone.“That was something that was big for us and being able to pull together.”Butland believes his rivalry with fellow shot-stopper Joe Hart is positive for both players.He said: “I’ve known Joe for a long time – all the way from when I was in the youth team at Birmingham and he was on loan there from Man City – and we’ve always had a healthy relationship.“I think that bodes really well when we come into squads. I’m keen to do as well as I can and in turn that pushes him and likewise pushes me back.“It’s really healthy and positive and it gets the best out of each other.” 1last_img read more

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