The Big Interview - Ryan Mason
02 September 2015|Tottenham Hotspur
Just over a year ago, Ryan Mason was on his way back from a knee injury, working hard at Hotspur Way and preparing for an Under-21 match against Southampton at the Lane.
A year on, he's with the England squad preparing for Euro 2016 qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland.
It's the third time the energetic midfielder has been selected by Roy Hodgson.
His first call came in March and he won his first cap off the bench in the friendly against Italy in Turin.
He was back in the squad again in June but suffered a knee injury in training that ruled him out of the start of pre-season.
After putting in the hours to recover, he was ready to take his place on the bench in our Premier League opener at United on August 8 and he's impressed in three starts since then, performances that have seen him selected for the Three Lions again this week alongside Harry Kane.
Ryan remembers exactly where he was a year ago and speaking exclusively to us ahead of joining the England squad, insists he's as hungry as ever...
This is your third call-up now Ryan, how does that feel?
Ryan Mason: "It's a great feeling and just shows all the hard work and sacrifices I've made over the years are more than worth it."
Could you have dreamt of this a year ago?
Ryan: "Not at all, no, this time last year I just wanted to get game time in a Spurs shirt. That was my focus."
Below: Ryan up against John Stones in training with England on Wednesday
And you've done exactly that. Has your perspective changed now that you are a key part of the squad and you've essentially achieved what you wanted to do a year ago?
Ryan: "It makes me hungry to achieve more. I have a gaffer who has faith in me so I'm in a position now where I feel I'm only going to improve as a player and a person."
What is it like to join up with the England squad? Is it an eye-opener, especially remembering that a year ago, you were playing for our Under-21s against Southampton, now you are with England's cream of the crop?
Ryan: "It's an honour to be part of the England squad. I wouldn't say it's so much of an eye-opener, an eye-opener is going on loan to a lower league club from Spurs and I experienced that in previous seasons. To join up with the England squad is the level I've always wanted to reach so it's more of an appreciation for the work I've put in."
Buzzing to join up with @England . Important games ahead!— Ryan Mason (@RyanMason) September 1, 2015
You are with the squad preparing for Euro qualifiers against San Marino and Switzerland. What would it be like to add to your caps tally, especially running out at Wembley with the Three Lions shirt on?
Ryan: "I'll do as much as I can in training to hopefully get another opportunity. Of course, playing for England at Wembley is what dreams are made of."
Did you ever go to Wembley to watch England as a kid?
Ryan: "Yes, my dad is football mad. He went to the World Cup in France, 1998. It was after that I first went to Wembley. It wasn't that eventful though, it was a 0-0 draw against Sweden in the Euro 2000 qualifiers (June, 1999). I was eight at the time."
Below: Ryan can't believe he's just been denied by Tim Howard against Everton on Saturday
Turning back to the present day and Spurs, first of all, are you happy with your form?
Ryan: "Yes, I feel I've started the season well and definitely improved on last season."
We're sitting on three points after four games but with the performances we've put in, we could easily be on 10. What are the players saying about the start of the season?
Ryan: "The way we are playing, we know the results will come. We've outplayed every team we've come up against this season. We want to get that winning feeling back as soon as possible and Sunderland away next time out (September 12) is a big game for us."