The Birmingham City stopper revealed his delight at being chosen by Stuart Pearce to represent Team GB at London 2012 and that it was an unforgettable experienceBirmingham City goalkeeper Jack Butland has revealed that this summer's Olympic Games greatly boosted his confidence as he aims to make his England debut against Italy on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old is in contention to deputise for Manchester City stopper Joe Hart in Berne, who is suffering from a back problem, and will become the youngest goalkeeper to represent his country at senior level since Billy Moon against Wales in 1888.
"I think especially as a goalkeeper, experience is a massive thing," he said speaking at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
"There's no better practice than playing games and thankfully I managed to do that at the Olympics. But being able to see how the likes of Joe Hart and Rob Green work and train as well as the other lads in the squad, the Euros were just as beneficial as the Olympics.
"I can't explain how important that has been confidence-wise and just to see where I am in my own ability, and where I want to be.
"I can't fault anything that has happened and i've truly enjoyed every minute."
The Bristol-born goalkeeper spent the majority of last season on loan at League Two side Cheltenham Town, before being a surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2012.
Stuart Pearce choose Butland as his number one for Team GB's Olympic campaign and he went on to make four appearances at London 2012 before his side went out in the quarter-finals following a penalty-shootout defeat to South Korea.
"The Euros was something I've always aimed for, but the Olympics was something I'd never really thought about being able to represent my country in," he added.
"The Euros was fantastic and it was solely football, it was a fantastic experience to see and train with top players. It was a big eye-opener for me as to where I want to be in my career.
"On the other hand, being a part of Team GB, you're a part of so much more and it's medals at the end of it rather than a trophy.
"So it was two slightly different roads but at the same time just as inspiring and as important as each other.
"I think it was fantastic for everyone involved. I feel very proud and very privileged that I was given the chance to be able to perform and be a part of something that was bigger than football, for once.
"You don't usually mix with other athletes, so it was a great experience to see how all the other sports do it and getting a feel for the Olympics was something I will never forget."