Norwich City midfielder reflects on England call
Archant © 2018
England’s World Cup bid revives happy memories for Matt Jarvis.
The 32-year-old has missed two years of club football through injury, but in his pomp earned a Three Lions cap under Fabio Capello.
Gareth Southgate’s current crop can move a step closer the knockout stages with victory over Panama on Sunday lunchtime, and for Jarvis pulling on that white shirt was the pinnacle of his career.
“To play for your country at Wembley is what dreams are made of as a lad,” he said.
“It was amazing. That was the biggest highlight of my career.
“There’s obviously your professional debut, winning promotion, getting to play at the highest level, but that was the pinnacle I think.
“Once you’ve got a taste for it you always want more.
“I was striving to get more caps so it was disappointing not to do so, but at the same time it’s still a fantastic achievement and one that nobody can take away from me. The way I did it was different.
“I wasn’t involved in any of the England youth squads or anything, so to come up from Gillingham to Wolves – all the way through League One, the Championship and then the Premier League – made it that bit more special.”
Jarvis made a second-half cameo in a 1-1 friendly draw with Ghana in 2011, after catching the eye during Wolves’ rise to the Premier League.
“I didn’t think at the time that it was going to happen,” he said, in an interview published on Planet Football. “I suppose I just thought that being at Wolves, who were in the lower part of the Premier League, I didn’t know if I was going to get the opportunity – but I was absolutely delighted that I did.
“It suddenly hits you. ‘Wow, right, here we go.’ You get all the butterflies in your stomach. It’s all really exciting and you realise that you’re fulfilling a childhood dream.
“But once you get on the pitch you don’t think about anything else. It’s back to what you’re used to.
“Once you get over that excitement and anticipation, you’ve just got to play your game.
“I think I grew into it. I had quite a few touches, made a few runs up the line and put a few crosses in. I enjoyed it. I thought I did okay.
“I didn’t know any of them properly when I joined up so it was a little bit intimidating at first.”