Tyrone Mings can't believe he is playing for England. Photo: John Sibley/Reuters

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."

Mings played for Yate Town and Chippenham Town before getting his break at Ipswich Town in 2012. He joined Bournemouth three years later but lasted only six minutes on his debut against Leicester City due to a knee injury.

After more injuries limited him to only 23 games in all competitions, Mings joined Villa on loan in January and helped them return to the top flight before completing a permanent switch for 20 million pounds ($24.55 million).

"I've been able to work with great coaches and... play for great clubs, everything has culminated to get me to this point," Mings said.

"At different times I've had to reassess my goals, with injuries and so forth, but that makes being sat here sweeter."

Reuters