Chelsea starlet Dominic Solanke has been named England's youth player of 2014, earning himself a call up to train with Roy Hodgson's senior side. The 17-year-old forward excelled for both club and country last year, winning the Under-17 European Championships with England in a competition which he also finished as top scorer.
Solanke also became Chelsea's youngest player to appear in the Champions League after he was handed he European debut against NK Maribor, having led the club to FA Youth Cup success earlier that year. Having trained with the Blues' first team for much of the season, Solanke has now joined the senior ranks with his country.
"It was a crazy feeling, a mix of excitement and nerves," he told the FA's official website. "Obviously, it's all the best players in England so the level was going to be really high. It was a good stage to try and impress as well."
"After getting my award, everyone was already on the pitch so I had to walk over by myself. I saw Gary Cahill and made eye contact. He'd been looking after me before, so I just went over with him for a quick talk before the session – he helped me feel comfortable.
"I managed to get one goal in training. With everyone watching that put a little bit more pressure on me. It was a really good experience."
Solanke was also handed a word of advice by England and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney, who picked up the award for the senior team's player of the year.
"He told me to just keep going. He's a great role model, especially being the England captain, so to get my award alongside him was an amazing moment."