JACK BUTLAND says the disappointment of missing out on a place in Roy Hodgson's England squad for the hotly anticipated World Cup Finals will spur him on in his bid to establish himself as an international regular.
The young Potters stopper became the nation's youngest ever 'keeper to be capped at senior level when he featured against Italy in autumn 2012, just four months after being called into the squad for the European Championships following John Ruddy's unfortunate withdrawal.
Butland harboured hopes of once again being aboard another flight to a major international tournament this summer, after enhancing his reputation as one of the country's hottest prospects with productive loan spells with both Barnsley and Leeds United last season.
However, a call up into the senior squad failed to materialise with Hodgson opting to go with Manchester City's Joe Hart, West Bromwich Albion's Ben Foster and Celtic's Fraser Forster, who has forced himself into the squad following an impressive campaign north of the border.
"Going to the World Cup would have undoubtedly been a fantastic experience for me," the Bristol born stopper said recently.
"As disappointing as it is though, not being a part of the World Cup squad has only given me more motivation and drive to push on and be a part of the next European Championships.
"I can't make a statement to myself if I'm not competing at the same level as the guys who have gone. Deep down I'm gutted not to be going to the World Cup as you always want to be part of major tournaments.
"I can't sit here, be frustrated or hold a grudge. If I was playing well in the Premier League then I could say 'yeah, I can make a statement' but that hasn't been the case. It's a target (to progress) for next season."
Instead the former Birmingham City starlet has been part of Gareth Southgate's Under 20 party for the recent Toulon Tournament in France.
Butland was handed the captaincy in England's two final games of the competition, against Columbia and Portugal, and helped his side to a creditable fourth place this past weekend.
"Coming here has definitely been beneficial to me," added the stopper, who is expected to play a prominent role for the Under 21s in next summer's European Championships.
"Facing top opposition has tested us and undoubtedly helped us to develop with the Euros in front of us in twelve months' time.
"Playing against these sides is massively important for our development, because the players want to be accustomed to playing against the top sides in the world."
Having originally progressed beyond the group stages courtesy of a second place finish behind runaway leaders Brazil, England secured themselves a 3rd Place Play-Off match against Portugal on Sunday afternoon.
Unfortunately for Butland and his teammates it was Portugal who went on to win the game courtesy of a single goal, whilst Brazil lifted the crown for an eighth time thanks to a 5-2 triumph over hosts France in the final.