Norwich keeper John Ruddy reveals long-term England plan
Norwich City keeper John Ruddy is targeting a long international career after linking up with his new England team-mates ahead of this summer's European Championships.
Ruddy is now in Manchester with the rest of Roy Hodgson's Three Lions squad preparing for this weekend's friendly test against Norway in Oslo. City's number one could even be in line for his debut with Hodgson giving Ruddy special dispensation to miss the Wembley farewell against Belgium the following Saturday to get married. The 25-year-old accepts he is behind Joe Hart and Rob Green in the pecking order this summer, but Ruddy is determined to make the most of his elevation to England's elite.
'As long as I continue to develop in the same manner I have for the last two seasons, this is a step I want to stay on,' he said. 'I want to continue to be involved in England squads. It's up to me to continue to play as I have this season and keep my foot in the door.
'There are the European Championships now and the World Cup qualifying coming up, so it's an aim of mine to maintain this level. You saw it with Joe Hart, once he got the opportunity, he took it with both hands and I'm hoping to do the same and make sure I can stay at the top level of the game.
'I think Joe Hart is the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment, Robert Green is world-class. I know a lot was made of the last time he played for England but he still has so much to give and he's still a world-class goalkeeper, so to be able to have the opportunity to work with those, along with Ray Clemence and Dave Watson, is an opportunity I'm relishing.'
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Ruddy proved his Premier League credentials against some of the best strikers in the game in Norwich's successful tilt at staying in the top flight this past season.
The Canaries' stopper believes the last nine months have been perfect preparation for what lies ahead.
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'Most of the players at international level are playing in the Premier League as well,' he said. 'There are some world-class strikers in this league. (Robin) van Persie has been unbelievable this season, and a few more will be there in the Euros as well, so the transition will be a step up because the individual players are such quality that when they all come together it's going to be a lot better.
'It's another step in the right direction for me as a player and it's something I'm really looking forward to, not just the opposition but training and playing with the England team as well is going to be a massive opportunity for me to come up against world-class players and work with world-class players.'