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INTERVIEW | Goalkeeper Tom King on first ever Wales call-up ahead of this weekend's crucial international break

14 November 2019

It’s been a whirlwind of a week for County Goalkeeper Tom King!

While the 24-year-old was busy preparing for the Emirates FA Cup first-round clash against Grimsby Town, he received a timely boost with a call-up to the Wales national team for their upcoming UEFA EURO 2020 qualifiers.

King will get the opportunity to win his first Wales cap on Saturday in Azerbaijan or against Hungary the following Tuesday, which would cap off an impressive start to life at Newport County AFC.

“I had a call from the Wales manager,” explained King.

“He just said that the goalie coach had been to watch me a few times, which I was aware of. 

“I was hoping that I had given a good account of myself on those occasions and thankfully I had and this opportunity has arisen.

“I didn’t really know how to react, I was a bit nervous at first but then I spoke to the gaffer here and he reassured me that it would all be alright and just give me a big pat on the back and said ‘well done’ and convinced me that this is just the start and we’re going to build from here and see where it takes us.

“He’s seen a lot of goalies in his time so for him to say nice things about me is a big compliment to me but also a big compliment to him and the staff as well. 

“The goalie coach and the other goalie, we work hard every day. It’s not just me, this isn’t just my achievement, I feel like this is all of our achievements.”

As soon as his conversation with Wales manager Ryan Giggs ended, King couldn’t wait to share the good news with his family.

“It’s a great honour,” he added. 

“My family are absolutely delighted as much as I am and my teammates are all putting their arm around me. 

It’s just what you dream of as a kid. International recognition is something that every kid growing up being a footballer wants.

“It’s a good feeling but I know this is just the start of what’s going to be a long and illustrious career. Hopefully this is going to be the building block to build from there.

“My dad’s English and my mum’s Welsh so I’ve got dual nationality. My mum got the first call and my nan got the second.

“My nan speaks fluent Welsh so she recited the Welsh national anthem to me three or four times so that was a special moment.

“I think the initial meeting will be one of awe but then once you cross that white line we are all equal, I’m there on merit, I’m there because I’ve done well and they are there because they’ve done well in their positions for their clubs.”

King’s call-up along with Dan McNamara’s selection for Republic of Ireland U21 and Keanu Marsh-Brown’s involvement with Guyana means Saturday’s trip to Grimsby Town in SkyBet League Two is postponed. 


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