Olympic call surprised Sordell
Bolton striker Marvin Sordell was as surprised as many observers when his place in the Team GB Olympic squad was confirmed.
David Beckham's exclusion from Stuart Pearce's side stole the headline's when it came to light last week before the 18-man party was named on Monday.
Nestled in among established names such as Ryan Giggs, Micah Richards and Aaron Ramsey was Sordell, who made only three substitute appearances after joining Wanderers from Watford in January.
The 21-year-old could even be in line for a starting berth after Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge was struck down with suspected viral meningitis.
"I didn't really expect it to be honest," he said.
"When I got the call from Stuart Pearce I was quite shocked.
"At first I didn't think it was him on the phone, as you do.
"I look forward to what will be a massive, massive occasion."
Sordell became one of the most sought after players in the npower Championship last term, with 10 goals in 29 appearances, and he must ply his trade at that level once more following Bolton's relegation from the top flight.
But first there is the small matter of a home Olympic games, the significance of which is not lost on the Harrow-born forward.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," he said.
"Not many people can say they competed at an Olympics in their home country, even many of the top athletes that have been doing it for a long time.
"This is a one-off for the Team GB squad for football - it's fantastic."
Eye-catching performances for Pearce's England Under-21s appear to have been a decisive factor in sealing Sordell's Olympic dream, and he concedes the former Nottingham Forest stalwart has had a significant influence on his career to date.
He said: "He's a great manager and obviously he was a great player as well.
"Someone who's played so many times for England, you're going to learn off them regardless. You can take what they say for granted.
"I'm always looking to learn off him, whatever advice he gives me I like to take on board."
Having players snatched away during the important pre-season weeks may not sit well with some club managers, but Sordell will leave for London with Owen Coyle's blessing.
"The final is scheduled for August 11, so if Great Britain get to the final - and everybody's hoping that will be the case - Marvin will return a week before the start of the season," said the Wanderers boss.
"He'll have already had his pre-season and his games with the Olympic squad anyway so we've no problem with that.
"We're delighted for Marvin. He's such a terrific lad, has outstanding ability as a footballer and it's a great honour for the football club as well."
For Sordell, the aim is simply to prove he belongs in such company by repaying the faith of his managers for club and country.
He added: "I'm just looking to train well, hopefully get picked for games and show people that I deserve to be in the squad."