Shrewsbury Town Under-18s right-back Callum Wilson has been called up for Northern Ireland Under-18s for the upcoming international break.
It’s Wilson’s first international call-up at any level and he will travel to Alicante in Spain to play in a tournament against Norway Under-18s, Belgium Under-18s, and the Czech Republic Under-18s over the course of a week, starting on Monday 21st March.
Speaking shortly after he was made aware of his call-up, Wilson spoke to the media to discuss his first opportunity on the international stage.
On the call-up:
“I’m really excited to get the opportunity to represent the national team. I’ve worked hard to get to this point but I’m obviously a bit nervous about it because I’ll be playing against the best players in their nations, but I’m excited to take the opportunity. It’s my first time ever getting a call-up so I’m looking forward to it.
“I think it’ll be tough but I think it’ll be a good challenge. I think it’ll be like when I was playing for a Category 1 academy a couple of years ago: playing all the best players. I’ve got that experience so I know I can play at that level; I just need to show it.
“I don’t know any of the others who have been called up. I’ve only been up there a couple of times since Tom Flanagan joined but I’ve spoken to Josh Daniels about it before because he played for their younger age groups and he said it was a really good experience and if you get the opportunity you should take it as soon as you can.
“I have seen scouts around and they like the look of me and they’ve seen clips of me that they got through one of my representatives but I think it was more my experience with the first team that got me this call-up.
“I hope to win the tournament! That’s what I’m going there for but hopefully, I'll get some caps and some experience. I’m happy to be there but once I’m there I want to push on and show what I can do and give a good account of the academy as well.”
On his season so far:
“I started the season just playing Under-18s and I thought I was playing quite well. I then got an opportunity to play in the Papa John’s trophy against Wolves and gave a good account of myself which got me praise from the gaffer. Then I got opportunities on the first team bench and then I played against Wigan [Athletic] in the Papa John’s Trophy and then I’ve been on the bench in the FA Cup for the first team too. The second half of the season, I’ve had a couple of setbacks like COVID and a couple of other knocks but I’m back now!”