WES Foderingham must rue the day he was born. Not literally, of course, as the former Crystal Palace man has enjoyed a sensational start to his professional career with Swindon Town.
However, had the goalkeeper arrived into the world a couple of years earlier, or even 24 months later, he could quite easily have become or be in line to become an England Under 21 regular. Instead, the Town stopper finds himself fifth or sixth pick for the Young Lions’ number one jersey.
For some peculiar reason, 1990 and 1991 were vintage years for English keepers. Middlesbrough’s Jason Steele, Manchester United youngster Ben Amos, Alex Smithies of Huddersfield and Norwich star Declan Rudd were all born, like Foderingham, in that period.
With each of those individuals playing at Championship level or higher, Foderingham has got his work cut out forcing his way into the under 21 set-up.
However, in an interview with the Football Association’s official website recently, England goalkeeping coach Martin Thomas mentioned that Swindon’s gloveman is being closely monitored and that he is part of an unusually talented age group.
"It is a good crop of goalkeepers in terms of both quality and quantity,” Thomas said.
"Prior to this, the best group for goalkeepers who have all gone on to play to a good level is in the 1981 birth group, which was Chris Kirkland, Stephen Bywater, Matt Murray and Paul Rachubka.”
Foderingham revealed scouts from the national side have been to watch him again this season.
“I’ve worked with Martin Thomas in the past, he’s aware of me and obviously I’m aware of him,” he said.
“I’m aware of the fact that they’ve been here a couple of times this season and last season to watch me.
“I’ve read what he’s said and he’s spot on when he says there’s a great crop of young goalkeepers because at the moment there’s about four in front of me and I can’t complain about that because they’re doing really well in the Championship.
“I’m happy that they’re looking at me and that I’m on their radar. I’m pleased with that.
“We’re all within two years of each other and that’s really rare - to get four, five, six goalkeepers of a good quality - and it’s only going to be good for the future of English goalkeeping.
“It’s a shame for me that I haven’t been in the side yet, I’m disappointed and I’ll keep working hard to try and get in the team, but if it doesn’t come I won’t be too upset. I’m just trying to concentrate on my form here and trying to get us into the Championship.
“My agent’s heard bits and spoke to a few of the scouts who have been to the game but no one’s contacted me about anything yet.”
The possibility that he could represent his country is certainly an extra motivation for Foderingham as he looks to help Swindon into the second tier this season.
He said: “They tend to pick players who are playing in a higher league, which is probably rightly so. They’re playing in the Championship for a reason and I’m playing in League One at the moment for a reason.
“If I can get into the Championship then that would be great for me.”