BRAINTREE Town goalkeeper Ben Killip hopes that his second England call-up has helped repay the faith that the club showed in him at the start of the season.

The 23-year-old, who has impressed in 28 appearances since joining from Grimsby Town last summer, is in line to receive a second international call-up after being named in a 16-man England C squad for a game against Wales later this month.

England C, the England representative team for under-23 players who feature for clubs below the Football League, will host their Welsh counterparts at Salford City’s Peninsula Stadium on March 19.

Killip made his debut for the Non-League Lions as they ended last year with a win over Estonia at Leyton Orient and his involvement and subsequent form for Braintree has seen him included in manager Paul Fairclough’s squad heading to the north west.

The Iron stopper said his previous appearance was a great experience and he hoped getting another call-up was something everyone at Cressing Road could be proud about.

“The confidence you get from being involved with England is huge," he said.

“That’s massive in football and I came out of the last game feeling like I had the world at my feet.

“It’s nice to come back to the team at Braintree with confidence like that and you also pick up different things from playing alongside different quality players.

“That’s always a good experience.

“I’ve spoken to (England C goalkeeping coach) Mick Payne quite a bit since the last England game and it’s nice that he’s checking up on me.

“I’m glad that I’ve got recognised again and it gives me something to be proud about.

“Hopefully everyone will be proud of it.

“It’s always amazing for any club to have someone gain international recognition and it’s nice to be able to repay Braintree with that.

“They have given me the chance to play men’s football week-in week-out this season and I’m thankful for that because if it hadn’t been for Braintree, I didn’t have much else on the table at the start of the season.

“They’ve given me the opportunity and I’ve taken it with both hands as I feel as though I’ve done quite well.

“I’m glad they’ve given me the platform and I hope I’ve done OK."

Braintree manager Danny Searle agreed that his goalkeeper's call-up was a source of pride for the Iron.

He said: “You have to be proud of your achievements on and off the pitch as a club and for Ben to have his second England call-up is an outstanding achievement.

“It’s credit to Ben and credit to (goalkeeping coach) Dave Blackmore, who has been working with him and also the club.

“The support for the players has been brilliant.

“We might be little old Braintree but the hearts of people off the pitch are massive and they do everything they can to make it as professional as they can.

“Everyone can take credit from the fact that Ben has managed to do that."

With Braintree still struggling to avoid Vanarama National League relegation, though, Killip, who began his career as a youngster with Norwich City, said there was a bittersweet element to his England call-up.

The Iron are due to continue their fight to avoid the drop with a home game against Harrogate Town on Saturday and that is where Killip's immediate focus is before he can think about international duties.

He added: “It’s a bit bittersweet at the moment because we’re not doing well as a team and it’s a tough one to be too upbeat.

“It’s hard to focus on England when things are going as they are.

“From a personal level it’s lovely, though.

“Sometimes you have to look at yourself and think you’re doing the right things and personally, I feel I’m doing all I can to influence the team.

“It’s nice to get recognition for things like that because there’s nothing bigger for a footballer than being on the international stage.

“That’s the same at any level and it’s an amazing feeling to go out there and sing the national anthem wearing an England shirt.

“It’s something I can’t wait for and I’m looking forward to it, especially as it’s against a side like Wales and we’ll be looking to get one over an old rival."

England's game against Wales will be a return fixture from last year’s thrilling clash in Barry, where Fairclough's side came back across the border with a 3-2 victory in the first meeting at this level between the nations.