Shrewsbury Town are pleased to announce that Goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler has been called up to the Canada squad for the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The tournament, which pits together the best teams from North and Central America, is being held in the United States and takes place between 7th July and 26th July.
“It’s super exciting”, Jayson told ShrewsWeb.
“I was very happy and very proud when I got the call up and it’s going to be a great experience for myself and a very proud moment for my family.
“I’m just very happy and it feels like a gift after the hard work that I put in through the year and to get something like this at the end is great.”
Canada start their tournament against French Guiana in New Jersey, before heading to Texas where they take on Costa Rica in Houston and Honduras in Dallas. Jayson admits that Canada will be underdogs, but believes they have a good chance of doing well.
“We are playing big games in big towns so it’s very exciting”, Leutwiler said.
“It’s like the European Cup for North America and you have teams like USA, Mexico and Costa Rica involved, so they are obviously big nations and we are going to try and do our best.
“We have a good chance. Our first game will be very crucial for us as we play French Guiana and from then on we will know a bit better where we stand.”
Jayson, who holds a Canadian passport through his Mother, has already represented Canada in a couple of friendlies over the last 12 months and is hopeful of securing a spot in the starting eleven.
“I will go there and try to train as hard as I always do”, admitted the 28 year old.
“I always go there and try to give the maximum that I can and try to satisfy the manager and if he decides to let me play then I am very happy and if not then I take that as an experience.
“I’m at a point in my career where I want to live those moments and it’s my first big tournament in my career so far, so it is going to be very exciting and I’m looking forward to it.
“My goal is to go there and do my best. If I play then I will give everything and if I don’t then I will support the team and I think it’s very important in those tournaments that everyone is there for the same targets and try to win games and see how far we go.”
Jayson will head to the USA on Wednesday meaning he will miss at least three weeks of pre-season training, however he is hopeful that his experience in an international competition will stand him in good stead for his return.
“We have three or four days before the first game so we are going to be working hard there to make sure we are fit for that first game”, Jayson continued.
“It feels a bit weird because you come here and think you will have six or seven weeks of pre-season, but at the same time it could be a good thing because you might be back into it quicker than the others and it could be an advantage for later on.
“If you play then you come back here having already played competitive games in a big competition and that will definitely be an advantage for the rest of the season.”