Bobby Zamora does not want to waste his England opportunity after finally being recognised at full international level.
The Fulham striker, who scored 21 goals in all competitions last season, looks set to end his long wait to represent his country on the senior stage in Wednesday night's friendly against Hungary at Wembley.
Zamora has been offered the chance to become a part of Fabio Capello's new generation, having ruled himself out of contention prior to the World Cup fiasco because he needed to undergo an Achilles operation.
And the 29-year-old insists that he has never lost faith in his ability to be a success at international level after playing with John Terry, Ledley King and Paul Konchesky as a youngster for the Senrab club in East London.
Zamora, who signed for Bristol Rovers as a trainee in 1999, said: "It is funny because I grew up playing with John Terry, Ledley King, Paul Konchesky, Jlloyd Samuel and a lot of other good players.
"They have all gone on to play for England and, in my eyes, there was no major difference between us.
"I never reached the stage where I thought I was never going to make it. If you don't get picked, you don't get picked, and all you can do is to carry on with your normal game.
"I am not a deep thinker about these things, but now an opportunity's come along I want to grab it with both hands."
Zamora had the opportunity to represent Trinidad & Tobago, via his father, and even went as far as obtaining the relevant documentation ahead of the World Cup qualifiers, but fate again dealt the striker a tough hand.
"If things had worked out differently I could have played for them, but I had pretty much the same injuries - Achilles and back - which ruled me out," he said.
"At the time it looked like my only option if I wanted to play international football, but that door has closed and this one has opened.
"The Hungary match is a chance for me to impress and that is what I am going to try and do."