Reading goalkeeper Alex McCarthy is 'over the moon' to receive his first senior England call-up.
The 23-year-old stopper was Roy Hodgson's surprise selection for the upcoming friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil at Wembley, getting the nod after just 12 games in the Premier League.
And, whilst the season turned out to be a disappointing one for the Royals, McCarthy is delighted that it will end on a personal high.
"I'm absolutely over the moon to get the England call. It's been a disappointing season for Reading with the club being relegated, but obviously there is a high for me personally," he told GiveMeFootball in an exclusive interview at Wentworth.
"It wasn't expected but I'm obviously delighted to be in such a great squad."
McCarthy did admit that his selection was bittersweet, given Reading’s demise from the top flight this term.
However, the former Leeds and Ipswich loanee is unsurprisingly looking at the positives, having recovered from shoulder surgery quicker than expected and impressing at the end of the campaign at the Madejski Stadium.
“It's definitely a case of joy mixed with disappointment. Obviously we're disappointed to go down but we'll be looking to come back straight away next season,” added McCarthy.
“I've had an operation on my shoulder and didn't expect to be playing anyway, so it's a nice bonus to be back playing now.”
The keeper, who was speaking after his round in the pro-am at the BMW-PGA Championship on Wednesday, also spoke highly of his new manager.
Nigel Adkins was drafted in to replace Brian McDermott and couldn’t prevent the side from going down to the Championship, but he’s instilled a mentality within the players that McCarthy believes will bring them success.
“I think the new manager has settled in really well and all the boys have grown to him really quickly,” he concluded.
“Every manager has there own philosophy of how they want to play, and everyone can see he wants us to get the ball down and pass it, and all the lads are enjoying that and I’m sure it will bring us success.”