'This is my opportunity now' - Toney ready to seize World Cup chance after England call

By Sports Desk September 20, 2022

Ivan Toney is ready to seize his England chance ahead of the World Cup, stating he has "been working for this moment" following his maiden call-up.

The Brentford forward was included in Gareth Southgate's final pre-World Cup squad for the upcoming Nations League clashes with Italy and Germany.

It represents the last chance for outsiders to press for inclusion – and as the only uncapped member of the squad, Toney looks as if he could be the proverbial bolter.

Struggles with either injury or form for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Ollie Watkins and Patrick Bamford may have paved the striker's way, and speaking on Tuesday, he says he does not intend to let the moment pass.

"This is my opportunity now," he stated. "I've got to take it with both hands. I'm excited, I'm confident, I'm very hungry.

"I've been working for this moment and here it is now, so I'm not going to let it go by me, by any means."

It is not the first time Toney has flirted with international football, having previously been approached to represent Jamaica, though he explained priorities elsewhere ultimately shut down any switch in allegiance.

"I turned them down because at the time I was focusing on the play-offs," he added. "That was the main thing, and then it kind of fizzled out.

"I felt like my chances were getting bigger and bigger to play for the England squad."

Related items

  • Immobile, Locatelli and Verratti left out of new-look Italy squad for Euro 2024 Immobile, Locatelli and Verratti left out of new-look Italy squad for Euro 2024

    Ciro Immobile, Manuel Locatelli and Marco Verratti are among the big names to miss out on Italy's provisional squad for Euro 2024.

    Just 10 players who helped the Azzurri win the delayed Euro 2020 three years ago have been included in Luciano Spalletti's 30-man group, which will be trimmed down to 26 names after friendlies against Turkey and Bosnia and Herzegovina in early June.

    Immobile made Spalletti's first Italy squad last September but has missed out on a trip to Germany after scoring just seven Serie A goals this season.

    Verratti joined Immobile in starting Italy's Euro 2020 final victory over England, but he always looked unlikely to be included this year after swapping Paris Saint-Germain for Qatari side Al-Arabi.

    Last September, it was reported that Verratti turned down a call-up for Italy's first two Euro 2024 qualifiers under Spalletti to complete his move to Qatar.

    Locatelli is also excluded, having seen his international role diminished since the last Euros, but Juventus team-mate Nicolo Fagioli is included after serving a seven-month ban for breaching Italian gambling rules.

    Italy begin their Euro 2024 campaign against Albania on June 15, before taking on Spain and Croatia in their remaining Group B fixtures.

    They have the chance to replicate La Roja's feat of winning back-to-back editions of the Euros in 2008 and 2012, something no other team has ever accomplished. 

    Full 30-man squad: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain), Alex Meret (Napoli), Ivan Provedel (Lazio), Guglielmo Vicario (Tottenham), Francesco Acerbi (Inter), Alessandro Bastoni (Inter), Raoul Bellanova (Torino), Alessandro Buongiorno (Torino), Riccardo Calafiori (Bologna), Andrea Cambiaso (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Inter), Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli), Federico Dimarco (Inter), Gianluca Mancini (Roma), Giorgio Scalvini (Atalanta), Nicolo Barella (Inter), Bryan Cristante (Roma), Nicolo Fagioli (Juventus), Michael Folorunsho (Verona), Davide Frattesi (Inter), Jorginho (Arsenal), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Samuele Ricci (Torino), Federico Chiesa (Juventus), Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma), Riccardo Orsolini (Bologna), Giacomo Raspadori (Napoli), Mateo Retegui (Genoa), Gianluca Scamacca (Atalanta), Mattia Zaccagni (Lazio).

  • Anderson admits speculation over England future was 'draining' ahead of retirement Anderson admits speculation over England future was 'draining' ahead of retirement

    James Anderson acknowledged repeated questioning over his Test future became "draining", as the England great prepares for his final international red-ball outing in July.

    England's all-time leading wicket-taker Anderson announced earlier this month that he will end his storied red-ball career after the first Test against West Indies on July 10.

    The 41-year-old will require nine wickets in his final Test to surpass Shane Warne's 708 wickets and move second on the all-time dismissals list.

    Anderson will be greeted with a rapturous farewell at Lord's, though the Lancashire veteran says speculation over his retirement while still playing was somewhat straining.

    He said on the BBC's Tailenders podcast: "There's probably been two or three moments on the field, if the opposition are 500-3, I'll be thinking, 'do I really want to still be doing this?'

    "They are fleeting thoughts – nothing that has stuck with me or more than an over.

    "I don't know how much of that was me and how much it was the external noise that comes with ageing. For the last six years, or even longer, it's been, 'how long can you go on for?'

    "That in itself, certainly for the last couple of years, has been quite draining."

    Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum will be tasked with rebuilding an England bowling attack capable of overturning Australia away in the next Ashes series.

    That plan for the future seemed to force Anderson's hand into announcing his retirement decision, with speculation building the day before his eventual confirmation followed.

    Though content with his decision, Anderson admitted there is still a small part of him wishing to continue.

    "Some days I wake up and wish I was not retiring but then 90 per cent of the time, I'm happy with it," he added.

    "Not many people in sport get the chance to retire from sport at over 40. I'm happy I've made it this far."

  • Headingley washout stops England and Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparation Headingley washout stops England and Pakistan's T20 World Cup preparation

    England and Pakistan were denied valuable T20 World Cup preparation after the first game of their limited-overs series was abandoned due to rain at Headingley on Wednesday.

    The umpires took little time to call off the first of a four-match T20I series as the decision was made without a ball being bowled at the ground in Leeds.

    England will have to wait to assess the fitness of the returning Jofra Archer, with Pakistan also having no chance to evaluate their players as the only side to still not announce their World Cup squad yet.

    Edgbaston will play host to the next meeting on Saturday, with clashes at Cardiff and The Oval to follow before the pair head off to the United States for the T20I tournament in June.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.