Fleetwood’s Billy Crellin says he is “living the dream” after a whirlwind year for the homegrown keeper currently on World Cup duty with England Under-17s
Crellin became the first player from Town’s academy to sign professional terms with the club last season.
And after featuring in the senior squad’s pre-season trip to Austria, the 17-year-old is now on another exotic adventure.
Crellin is a member of Steve Cooper’s 21-man World Cup squad in India and came off the bench in Sunday’s warm-up win over New Zealand.
Now he is hoping to feature this Sunday in the opening group game against Chile at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
Crelling gave Cooper food for thought by saving two penalties in a mock shoot-out against the Kiwis, though Manchester City’s Curtis Anderson will probably start.
And speaking before becoming the first Fleetwood player to represent England, Crellin praised team-mates Alex Cairns, Chris Neal and goalkeeping coach David Lucas for helping his development.
Crellin said: “They have taught me everything. They just get on with it and I learn from them every single day.
“They are three great people I can learn from. That is why I am here and why I want to be here. I’m definitely living the dream. I could not think of anything better to do with my life.
“It helped me a lot training with the lads at the end of last season and going out to Austria. It is not like I’m new. I talk to all the lads, I’m a bit more relaxed and I can focus on my football.”
Crellin is yet to make his first-team debut for Town and he could be away for some time if England progress all the way to the final on October 28.
And after his England bow, Crellin hopes this could be the season he finally wears the Fleetwood badge in a competitive fixture.
He said: “The best thing is wearing a Fleetwood shirt because I’m from Fleetwood.
“Hopefully I can get in the side sooner rather than later and you never know from there, do you?”
Winger and fellow Town teenager Dan Mooney is in action for Wales Under-19s against Switzerland at Rhyl today.
Blackpool goalkeeper Christoffer Mafoumbi has also reported for international duty with Congo ahead of their World Cup qualifier away to Egypt on Sunday.
The France-born 23-year-old made his Pool debut in this week’s Checkatrade Trophy win at Accrington Stanley.
He is a member of the senior Congo squad that has taken only one point from four qualifiers to date.