Clarets midfielder Cork would "love" England chance

Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne passes despite the attentions of Burnley's Jack Cork
Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne passes despite the attentions of Burnley's Jack Cork

Running man Jack Cork confessed "I'd love to play for England" following Gareth Southgate's latest squad announcement.

The 28-year-old, who has covered more ground than any other player in the Premier League so far this season, has represented the Three Lions at six different age groups, including captaining the under 19s to make the European Championships in 2008, but has never earned senior selection.

The former Chelsea midfielder, who has covered 121.13km in 10 top flight fixtures having featured for every minute for the Clarets, was also named in Stuart Pearce's 18-man squad for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, making his debut when replacing Daniel Sturridge against Brazil.

Call ups for Tom Heaton and one-time Turf Moor favourites Michael Keane, Jay Rodriguez, Charlie Austin and Danny Ings have shown that it's possible and Cork is confident that the club's current crop can add to that list.

“I'd like to think maybe one of us would get a chance sometime," he said. "To be in seventh is a good position and if they're picking on form we've got Tarks, Ben Mee, Lowts, Popey all keeping clean sheets on a regular basis.

"Maybe one day if we keep the form going maybe one of us can get in the squad.

“Players like Jonjo (Shelvey), he's probably one of the most talented English players on the ball, passing wise. He's got a chance as well.

"It is tough to get in if you're not at one of the bigger teams. You hope you can but it's difficult. Sometimes it's difficult but it's how it is.

“I don't know if i'm getting old or something...I'm knocking on 30 in a couple of years. We'll see. I'd love to play for England, but it's the manager's choice isn't it?"

Cork fought for his opportunity to represent his nation by getting himself out there, enjoying loan spells at six different clubs during his time at Stamford Bridge.

And the midfield maestro is encouraging the nation's progressive talent pool to do the same on the back of international success in a bid to go all the way with their country.

With the under 20s and under 17s winning the World Cup this year, Cork said: “It's always difficult, especially at the big clubs. The way it works with the loan system is, there's a lot more opportunities.

“I watched the first half of the Villa game the other night – then I watched the Tottenham game because I didn't realise it was on! - I saw Josh Onomah.

"I didn't know much about him before but I saw himself put himself about, get physical and I think that's all you need.

"To put yourself out there, to be in a competitive environment where people depend on you to get results.

“I was really impressed with him, fair play, he could probably have sat at Tottenham played a couple of games but, no. You need games coming from that sort of environment."

He added: “It's about games, you need to get out on the stage and play games. The best way to do that is to play games. It can be daunting at first, at 18 or 19 but for me it's the best way to do it.

"It's good for young players, you're not really gonna get the first team opportunities unless you're someone like Foden, who has the press around him and the manager bigging him up at every opportunity.

"For me I'd say to the young players 'go and get as many games as you can while you're young' and if it gets to a point where you're still not playing games in your first team then maybe look to leave."