Butland eyes strong start

Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland is hoping to have a strong pre-season as he aims to enjoy an impressive campaign for club and country.

Stoke: Butland eyes strong start Stoke: Butland eyes strong start

The England international missed the end of 2015-16 campaign after breaking his ankle in March, an injury that also ruled him out of Euro 2016.

The 23-year-old has now been given the all-clear to feature in the club’s pre-season preparations, which includes friendly matches against Burton Albion, Preston North End, Orlando City and Hamburg.

Butland is likely to be between the sticks when the Potters travel to the Riverside Stadium to take on newly-promoted Middlesbrough on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season and the former Birmingham stopper is hopeful of flourishing for both club and country over the coming months.

He said: “I’m hoping to have a good pre-season, start the season well, get in that first England squad and go from there.”

Butland’s chances of securing the number one jersey at international level have been boosted after some high-profile mistakes by Joe Hart for England at Euro 2016, but the youngster is convinced the Manchester City stopper will bounce back from those errors.

He continued: “It’s a massive stage and he made some errors that he won’t make again. That’s the nature of goalkeeping and he’s still someone I look up to. With his mental toughness and character he will bounce back and be the goalkeeper everyone knows he is.”

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