Butland looks to shine for Blues

  • Last Updated: August 14 2012, 7:22 BST

Jack Butland is keen to make the breakthrough at club level with Birmingham this season after his only other taste of domestic football came on loan at Cheltenham.

Jack Butland: Looking to impress

Butland played 24 games for the League Two side last season but it proved a stepping stone for his Euro 2012 call-up with England and being Team GB's goalkeeper at the Olympic Games.

Now Butland, who could make his England debut against Italy on Wednesday, wants regular football with Blues after playing at St. Andrew's for the first time in a weekend friendly.

City have already rejected a £6million bid from Southampton for Butland this summer.

Butland said: "I've spoken to the manager (Lee Clark) and indicated what I want to do, which is play football.

"It's going to be another big season for me to carry on learning and to get a load of games under my belt.

"That's the target for me and, if I'm fortunate enough to get that chance, I'm going to have to take it and try to play 40-plus games this season.

"People mention Southampton's interest. That's football. There's always people watching you, no matter who you are or who you're playing for.

"That's irrelevant to me because I'm a Birmingham City player. I've got to perform for them, try to stay in the team and see what happens."

Butland admitted: "It was a nerve-racking experience for me at the weekend because I hadn't played at St. Andrew's before.

"I felt that I needed to show the Birmingham fans what I'm about because they've not seen me before. It was important to me."

Butland has a clear affinity for Blues which stems back to when he used to travel regularly as a schoolboy from Bristol to train with the club.

He said: "It was a two and a half hour journey on the train, only one hour 15 minutes in the car, but it was something I didn't want to put on my mum and dad, to have to take me up and down.

"I would go to school on Monday and straight after school jump on a train for two and a half hours up to Birmingham. I would stay Monday night and train all day Tuesday with Dave Watson (now England goalkeeping coach).

"I would go home after training on Tuesday, go to school on Wednesday, back up to training on Wednesday afternoon after school.

"Then I'd train all day Thursday, go home on Thursday and then get the train back up Birmingham on Friday night to play for the academy sides on a Saturday.

"I was doing up to 10-12 hours a week sitting on a train to get to training but it was something I needed to do.

"But I still passed all my GCSEs - two As, six Bs and a C."

Butland admitted he would have tried his luck at other sports if he had not made the grade at football.

He said: "If it wasn't for football, I would have played rugby. If it wasn't rugby, it would have been basketball and I would have just gone through all the sports.

"I come from a rugby family, played until I was 15, 16 and I eventually had to say 'no, I have to choose one' and it was obviously going to be football.

"I miss playing rugby a lot. I love playing any sport. At school, any trip that was on, whether it was to play badminton, tennis, basketball, it was something I was madly involved in.

"I just wanted to play sport every day of the week."