Arsenal teenager Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is delighted by his shock call-up for England's Euro 2012 squad and determined to seize his chance.
Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived at Arsenal from Southampton last summer, and Hodgson's decision caps a remarkable year for the midfielder.
"I'm obviously delighted," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal's official website.
"To be picked for your country at any stage is a massive honour and to be at a huge tournament likes the Euros is such a bonus.
"I would have probably laughed if someone had told me I would be in the Euro 2012 a year ago.
"Obviously you would like to think that and it is what you aim towards but sometimes you have to be realistic and realise it might take a little bit longer than that.
"So for everything to happen as quickly as it has, it has been surreal and I don't think it has really sunk in properly yet.
"I know I haven't made it and I have a long way to go but this is the first step in what I hope to be a long and successful international career."
Oxlade-Chamberlain, who can play on either flank or in a central position, only made his first international start at Under-21 level earlier this season.
But he revealed that the England boss had told him his inclusion was on merit.
He added: "I got a call this (Wednesday) morning from the manager and he just explained it to me then - that was about two hours before it was announced.
"He said it was down to merit and I just have to prove him right.
"I am just looking forward to going there, learning from all the experienced players, training with them and trying my hand at everything. I am absolutely buzzing.
"I will just try and make things happen, although I know there are other players who can do that. It will just be nice to get the opportunity and I will see what I can do.
"I think I play with no fear, I run at players regardless of who they are and try to make a difference. I have a youthful enthusiasm and I am so excited about this that I will try and take any opportunity with both hands.
"It is a good opportunity for me to go and learn from everyone and if I do get a chance, work as hard as I can to make an impression and prove myself."