Kieran Trippier has yet to make an appearance for England
England manager Gareth Southgate went with his players to Commando Training Centre in Devon at the weekend ahead of their World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Glasgow on Saturday night and their friendly with France in Paris on Tuesday.
20 of Southgate’s Three Lions squad toughed it out camping out under the stars, cooking on open fires and tackling assault courses alongside the crack military unit. There were no mobile phones, no comforts.
Trippier, 26, shared his two man tent with Kyle Walker – the man he is battling with for the right-back spot at Spurs and England – and the pair were hardly Bear Grylls material.
“Me and Walks put our tent up the wrong way round to start,” said Trippier. “It was getting a bit too dark so we didn’t have time to put it back round and, because it was already up, we thought we may as well sleep in it.
“We were the only ones to get our tent the wrong way round. All the lads put the tents up quickly as it was getting dark. We only had a short time to do it.
England squad put through their paces at Royal Marine's Commando training centre Mon, June 5, 2017
England manager Gareth Southgate took his squad on a secret retreat to the Royal Marine's Commando Training Centre ahead of their clash with Scotland on Saturday (5pm)
Play slideshow LPhot Barry Wheeler, Royal Navy 1 of 7
The England squad were put through their paces by the Royal Marines last weekend
Me and Walks put our tent up the wrong way round to start
Tottenham star Kieran Trippier
“We only got a couple of hours sleep because the marines came back in at half five in the morning. We had to get the gear all back in our bags. We then had a four-mile hike.
“The assault courses were good. It was a bit of a shock when we first turned up with the squad. I wasn’t expecting that but we got down there and it was enjoyable.
“It brought the lads all closer together. When we first walked into the room we thought, ‘what’s going on here?’ But it was a good two days.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
“When we got down there we had to get changed into our combat gear and were carrying big rucksacks. We went to our camp and had to cook our own food, make our own little fires. Then we had to do running and crawling through rocks.
“It just shows you how tough those guys really are. I have so much respect for them. I was only there for 24 hours but I enjoyed it.”
At one point the players and coaching staff had to plunge into freezing water and swim underwater through a tunnel for several feet. Trippier said: “I am not a fan of being under water. They pulled us through the tunnels, which was a bit scary.
“I was trying to reach out and grab the marines at the other end – and I could not find him. That was the scariest. But we all did it. This is the first time I ever did anything like that.”
Trippier maybe be a rival with Walker for club and country but the pair are good mates.
The former Manchester City and Burnley player, who came more into the Spurs team towards the end of the season as Walker, a summer target for City, had an apparent falling out with manager Mauricio Pochettino, said: “We have different qualities and we bounce off each other. We are good mates.
Kyle Walker is seen as England's first choice right-back
- Spurs' Kyle Walker scores a cracker in England training
- Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke scores for England in World Cup
- Sturridge grabs opportunity and scores incredible goal for England
“We have been playing with England since the Under-19 European Championship so we have known each other for a long time. We always try to help each other out.
“I know we both play the same position but it is club football and whoever plays, we are always there for each other. We always help each other and it will be no different here. I want to play and he wants to play but if he plays, I’ll help him. If I get picked, I know he will do the same for me.”
For Trippier, who rebuilt his career at Burnley after being released by City, it has been a long road back – six years since his last U21 apprearance.
He said: “It has been difficult. There is so much quality in the senior squad and it has been a long journey for me. It has been a good few years since I was with the U21s.
"But I always believed in myself and believed that I could get in the England team one day. The time has come now. There are two big games now and hopefully I can show the manager what I can do.”