Hart eyes a decade more with England

The 25-year-old Manchester City keeper has set his sights on playing for the national team for at least another 10 years and adding to his 22 caps for his country so far
Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart is eyeing another decade for the Three Lions as he prepares for the upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifying double-header with Moldova and Ukraine.

25-year-old Hart has made the national team jersey his own since the World Cup in South Africa two years ago and was one of the first names on England manager Roy Hodgson's teamsheet for last summer’s Euro 2012 tournament.

With 22 caps to his name at such a young age, it has been suggested that Hart might be able to draw level with the record number of caps won by former England favourite Peter Shilton.

The ex-Nottingham Forest and Southampton keeper made 125 appearances for the Three Lions and Hart is flattered that comparisons have been made between himself and a legend of the English game like Shilton.

"It's nice now for people to say that I could be England's keeper for the next 10 years but plenty of people won't agree," he told the Daily Star.

"Goalkeepers can have a long career and right now I'm enjoying my role in the England squad. I want to make that last.
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"I will try to give it everything for my country. I would love to get to 23, then 25 and 30 caps. They are things I love to do every time I line up. It's a great feeling.

"I know how quickly things can change in football and I am only where I am because someone else lost their place.

"Nothing is a given, especially when you see the standards in the two sides I play for, City and England.

"I play for one of the best club sides in England who want to be one of the best sides in Europe. And England as a nation are one of the best countries about."

Hart's rise to undisputed England number one has led to the retirement of several understudies to the position including Ben Foster and Paul Robinson.

The national team have also been stung in the past with the retirements of Premier League regulars such as Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher. But retirement from international duty is not something that Hart has on his mind.

"Retirement is certainly not something I am considering right now," he added.

"You never know how your body changes but if I stayed in perfect physical shape, who knows?

"There are a lot of reasons why people quit international football. Some struggle off the field. Some struggle with injuries.

"That is their decision. But at the moment if my life stays the same as it is, which hopefully it will, then I can’t see that happening."

Hart got his break at Premier League champions Manchester City after spending time away from the club on loan at Birmingham City before returning and taking the No.1 jersey - but he is one of very few first-choice English goalkeepers in the top flight.

His understudy John Ruddy earned a chance to shine with Norwich City, while third choice Jack Butland is beginning his career outside the top-flight at Championship side Birmingham.

Hart said: "It's hard to get a chance in the Premier League for an English keeper.

"Clubs look all across the globe for keepers so it's tough. It’s easier in other leagues because they don’t have that pulling power.

"Unfortunately that is just the way it is, although I have been lucky at Manchester City."