Boro defender Dael Fry says pulling on the England shirt in his hometown will be a ‘dream come true’.
The Young Lions face Scotland at the Riverside tonight (7:45pm) and the 20-year-old is poised to make his second appearance for Aidy Boothroyd’s side.
Fry, who has recently made the step up from the Under-20s, is looking forward to what he says will be a childhood dream.
“Representing England at any level is unbelievable but to get the chance to do it in my hometown will be something special,” he told the official England match programme.
“I’ll have everyone close to me there, and I know the Boro fans love a bit of England too, so to play in front of those people I grew up with for my country will be something else.”
Fry won’t be the first Teessider to represent their country on home soil. Ben Gibson did so against Germany in March 2015 and Fry is hoping he will get the opportunity to follow in his footsteps.
“I’ve seen a few Boro players in the past do this, I remember Ben Gibson doing it, and I just can’t wait to hopefully get my chance.
“Any England versus Scotland game is huge, and for me to be able to be involved in one in my hometown, it’s like a dream come true.”
There will be a large contingent of Teessiders amongst the home support, and Fry’s defensive partner may be one of them.
“I remember it [playing for England at the Riverside] being a massive occasion,” Gibson told Boro’s website.
“We played Germany at the Riverside and the fans came out in force as well. That was a fantastic memory for me.
“Hopefully this time I’ll be there watching Dael, and he’ll play as well as he has for us.”
Having broken into a Boro side rich in competition, this season has already been somewhat of a success for Fry – and he says he’s enjoying the campaign so far.
“I’m just delighted to be playing for England with the U21s, I think my performances at the World Cup helped to get me here and into the Middlesbrough team.
“I’m really grateful for Garry Monk putting his trust in me at Boro and I’m really enjoying my football at the moment.
“But I know I can’t let my standards drop for club or country because there are players ready to take my spot.”