Wallace aiming to roar with Three Lions

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Six months ago he was playing for Whitehawk in the Ryman League.

Now Jed Wallace is in the England squad aiming to make it to the Uefa Under-19s Championship finals.

Wallace is part of Noel Blake’s set-up who are attempting to come through the elite qualifying round in Belgium and make it to July’s finals in Lithuania.

All of this after a hurtling second half to Pompey’s League One campaign, which saw the 19-year-old establish himself in Guy Whittingham’s side.

Six goals in 22 appearances saw the midfielder’s stock rise as Wallace’s form went down well with the Fratton faithful.

It’s been an accelerated period of success for the former Lewes talent.

But Wallace is hungry for more and, after sitting on the bench for the Three Lions’ two most recent draws against Georgia and Belgium, he is targeting an international bow in England’s final qualifying game against Scotland tomorrow.

He said: ‘I’m learning a lot and to be here from where I was is a big transition.

‘I haven’t played any minutes so far, which is frustrating.

‘But that’s not my decision and it’s out of my hands.

‘So I have to make sure I’m prepared and act well around the hotel.

‘If the call comes, it comes.

‘But I have to remember it’s a privilege to be in the 18 from where I was playing non-league six months ago.

‘If I can get a cap I can get a cap.

‘But if it doesn’t come now I’m sure there will be other chances if I keep performing at club level.

‘It’s mad to be involved, but I don’t want to sit around. I want to play and I feel ready to play for this team.

‘I don’t want to think it’s okay to be here. It’s not in my nature to do that.

‘I’m not going to think “oh, I was playing non-league football six months ago, so it’s okay to sit on the bench”.

‘If I can play, I want to play.’

Wallace’s England call-up has seen him link up with Pompey team-mate Adam Webster for the young Three Lions.

Webster grabbed four minutes of action in the opening group game with Georgia.

England held on to get a point after keeper Jordan Pickford was sent off for a professional foul early on.

Now they can qualify from their group against Scotland tomorrow.

They will have one eye on Belgium’s clash with Georgia, which will be key in deciding their fate.

Whatever happens, Wallace is enjoying the international experience and working under an old Pompey favourite in Blake.

He said: ‘It’s good and very professional.

‘The coaching is a little different and it’s a proper set-up, as you would imagine it to be.

‘The standard is high. I thought “blimey” for the first couple of days.

‘I remember playing against some of these players for the Academy and thinking I would never be as good as them.

‘But I want to test myself with the best players in the country.

‘Noel is a brilliant coach and really detailed.

‘I’m learning to be more patient with my passing. It’s a bit less frantic than League One football. It’s about being patient and waiting for your chance to exploit the other team.

‘I’m learning a lot from it.’