Finally, Jack Butland can sit down and relax as Palace TV switch their camera on. “It’s been a crazy day,” he says, having been in Stoke just this morning. “But I’m glad to get it over the line and I’m happy to be here.”
Butland has penned a three-year deal in south London, moving from the Potters after seven-and-a-half years.
Completing his fourth loan deal while with Stoke in 2014, Butland has since spent six consecutive seasons in Staffordshire. Such a move may then seem like a significant upheaval, but the shot stopper is joining a familiar crowd.
“A few of the [England] Under-21s like Wilf [Zaha] and Kells [Martin Kelly] are people I know well," he says. "Gary [Cahill] being in the England squads I’ve known for a long time and got on really well with.
“I’ve met Jeffrey Schlupp a few times just knocking about here and there on holidays, so I know a few of the boys and it’ll be nice to see them again and get to meet the rest of the squad as well.”
But Butland’s closest affinity perhaps lies not with his new teammates, but with a former manager instead; Roy Hodgson having given him his England debut as a 19-year-old ‘keeper.
“It will be great to see him again and work with him again. He gave me the most amazing point in my career: making my England debut. That’s something I’m forever grateful for. I’m thankful for the opportunity again to work together - I’m looking forward to getting started.”
With nine caps to his name and aged just 27, Butland says playing for England is still very much front and centre of his ambitions. But he also explains he understands the need to display consistent club performances before he can consider the international stage.
He elaborates: “Anyone that knows me knows how much of a passion playing for my country is. I know that’s only capable with playing well, playing in the Premier League.
“So I know what has to come first before that becomes a reality again but it’s something that’s always at the forefront of my mind... Ultimately, that means getting into the [Palace] team and playing as well as I can during my time here. Hopefully that leads back to an England squad.”
With over 270 domestic appearances to his name, Butland is an experienced ‘keeper in both the Premier League and Championship. Over the years, he has faced Palace in both leagues, and has fond memories of those meetings, saying:
“I actually have some good memories of playing against Palace so hopefully we can create some good ones playing for Palace. I remember a Friday night game away at Selhurst with Birmingham which resulted in quite a nice 4-0 win for us at the time.
“Playing here [Selhurst] in my first real season in the Premier League was enjoyable for me; I made a few saves in that game and thoroughly enjoyed playing in front of the crowd more than anything. They were pretty serious that day.
“[Selhurst] is loud. It’s loud; it’s great. I remember the flags waving as well. I’m not sure half the supporters saw much of the game with all that was going on in that corner but it’s a hell of an atmosphere and hopefully we get that back soon and I can experience it.”
Hear more from Jack in his first interview as an Eagle below!
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