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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 January 2008, 14:18 GMT
Foxes defender living the dream
Joe Mattock
Mattock had a solid debut for England Under-21s last year (Getty)
Leicester City defender Joe Mattock says he is still finding it hard to come to terms with his rapid rise from club youth team to England recognition.

"It's incredible," the 17-year-old left-back told BBC Radio Leicester.

"A year ago I was in the Under-18s and all of a sudden I'm playing first-team football and now I've been called up to the England Under-21s.

"It's brilliant. Sometimes when I get back from training and I think about it I can't believe how far I've come."

Mattock was handed his debut by then caretaker boss Nigel Worthington at the end of last season, coming on as a substitute against Norwich in April.

It is my city and my football club and it is a huge football club

Joe Mattock

Since then he has become a regular part of the first team squad and also made his England Under-21 debut against Bulgaria in November.

And he believes his progression from youth team to first team, and then on to international recognition will serve as an incentive for other Foxes youngsters.

Mattock's fellow youth team players Richard Stearman and Levi Porter have both impressed when given their chance and Mattock hopes others youngsters follow their example.

"We're a good influence for younger players coming through the ranks," Mattock explained. "I first got spotted at 12 years old and hopefully other younger players will come through the same."

And Mattock, who was the subject of a substantial bid from an unnamed Premier League club last week, is only too happy to be playing for his hometown side.

"It is my city and my football club and it is a huge football club and people don't realise that but it is," he said. "And obviously for any kid my age to be playing for Leicester is a great achievement."

Leicester turn down Mattock bid
14 Jan 08 |  Leicester City
Mattock pens new Leicester deal
09 Nov 07 |  Leicester City


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