Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings said his England call-up was all the sweeter because of his bleak prospects a few years ago when he was a part-time player working as a mortgage adviser.
The 26-year-old was among four uncapped players selected by England boss Gareth Southgate for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Bulgaria on Saturday and Kosovo three days later.
Mings' selection marks a remarkable rise after his release by Southampton as a youth, an injury-hit spell at Bournemouth and eventual success at Villa, who he helped return to the Premier League this season.
"When I was playing football part-time and working as a mortgage adviser I had different goals, playing for England seemed like a different world away," Mings told reporters.
"I just needed to get back into the professional game at that point. I can't say that while I was sat at my desk cold calling or trying to advise people on their mortgages that playing for England was an achievable goal."