SWAPPING Star Wars toys for international selection, one Warrington Town youth team player is ready to win his first England cap when the Centenary Shield kicks off on March 14.
Daniel Bruce was selected for the English Schools’ FA’s under 18s squad after a trial at Lilleshall.
England open their campaign against Wales, but the 17-year-old, who made his debut in a 5-0 friendly win over Australia last month, admits he is eyeing a clash with Scotland at Ewood Park.
“The Scotland game is the big one,” he said. “I’m expecting it to be feisty but will relish it and hope to put a few tackles in!
“We play a friendly against Wolves, then a training week in half term before the tournament.
“Very few got in, so to be selected is such a privilege. I was over the moon when I found out, it’ll be unbelievable to get my first cap.
“I never used to like football, at primary school I’d sit and play Star Wars! Then I became interested and really kicked on.”
Bruce, who helped Warrington Town to the FA Youth Cup first round proper this term, knows Sky Sports may be lurking and hopes to remain cool on camera.
“An after match interview if I do something special?” he laughed. “I’ll be trying not to do something cringey!
“I’ll have to keep the celebration on the down low if I bag, but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully we’ll get a lot of people watching.”
Bruce admits balancing A Levels and football is difficult, but still harbours dreams of a professional contract.
“A pro contract is the dream,” he explained. “That’s what I would love, but I have to prove myself. When my head hits the pillow it’s all I think about!
“I’m grafting at both and thinking about going to America to play and study if I don’t get a professional contract.
“I’m keeping my head down in school, then keeping my head up on the pitch! That’s really my life at the moment.”