Aston Villa's Tyrone Mings: Tough road to the top makes England call all the sweeter
Villa defender Tyrone Mings claims taking the tough road to the top is making his England experience all the sweeter.
The 26-year-old is training with Gareth Southgate’s squad ahead of Saturday’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Bulgaria after being handed his first Three Lions call-up.
Mings has experienced an extraordinary journey since being released by Southampton as a teenager, playing in non-league football and briefly training as a teenager before getting his break in the professional game at Ipswich.
And he said: “I can’t say that while I was sat at my desk cold calling or trying to get people to remortgage that playing for England was a really achievable goal.
“But as I have worked with some great coaches and played for some great clubs, everything has culminated to get to this point.
“At different times I have had to reassess my goals. It makes it all the more sweeter being here now.”
Imposing Mings, who stands 6ft 5ins tall, was released by the Saints for being too small but said: “I wasn’t big at the time. I probably wasn’t as physically developed as I needed to be to go into a professional set-up.
“I am respectful of their decision. They were probably fully justified in that. I don’t beat any grudges.”
England host Bulgaria at Wembley before facing Kosovo at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium next Tuesday.
“Of course I have thought about (a possible debut) since I got called up,” said Mings. “But I have had different challenges to deal with since then.”
“I have been in a few different dressing rooms and this is just as easy to settle into.
“It is a very welcoming bunch and the average age is quite low. There are a few different players I know from playing with.
“It has been really easy to settle in. The manager and coaching staff have made me feel really welcome and part of the squad.”