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George keen for long summer

22 May 2013

George Long insists international recognition has personally capped a fine season, but he doesn't want it to end just yet.

The Sheffield born goalkeeper, who provided a reliable last line of defence for the Blades last term, was named in England's U20s provisional 35-man squad for the World Cup, which takes place in Turkey this summer.

That 35 will be whittled down to 21 in early June and Long is determined to prove himself to England's coaching staff and make the cut for the finals.

He commented: "Having already experienced the England setup should definitely help me, because I know what to expect.

"I have also worked with the goalkeeping coach before, so in the next few weeks I am looking forward to working hard and hopefully doing enough to get a seat on the plane to Turkey.

"It is crucial to have a good working relationship with the goalkeeping coach because during the week you spend an awful lot of team with working them.

"I am encouraged that the scouts have been monitoring my progress this season and I have performed consistently since getting in the team.

"I don't really think about anything apart from the game, but afterwards you often get told about the scouts that have been watching.

"To play in a World Cup against some of the best young players in the world would be an unbelievable experience.

Long added: "I never expected to make over 40 appearances this season, but after getting thrown into the action in October I haven't really looked back.

"Everyone is gutted we didn't win promotion, but personally it was a good season for me and one I won't forget.

"Hopefully I can cap it by playing for my country in a World Cup."

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