Harry Whayman has admitted that his time in the England Colleges FA squad has helped to reinvigorate his passion for football.
Like many youngsters up and down country, the Roydon youngster was recently released by a professional club — in his case Ipswich Town.
But rather than feel down on his luck, the Easton & Otley Football Academy student dusted himself down and earned a place in the England Colleges squad.
He has just returned from a tour of Italy, where he featured in matches against Albania and Malta.
On the tournament — where England won one, lost one and drew one — Whayman said: “We did well as a team and really grew into the competition.
“It was hot, dry and the pitch took some getting used to, but once we did, we played some good football.”
Meanwhile, on a personal level, he added: “I was happy with how I played in my two matches and it was an excellent experience.
“It was amazing to sing the national anthem.
“Like the team, I improved as it went on and enjoyed playing out wide.”
Whayman’s time within the set-up is coming to an end, although he does have another match against Wales — in Bristol — on Wednesday, April 5.
Reflecting on what his inclusion in the squad has done for him, Whayman said: “I have been able to express myself and am a lot more confident.
“I am really excited about what the future might hold.”