Picture: Charlotte Tattersal
By Matt Badcock
Luke Trotman has been speaking to England C alumni to get a feel for what to expect on his first call-up.
The Darlington full-back has spoken to club team-mate Joe Wheatley and former Loughborough University classmate Dapo Afolayan, who landed a move from Solihull Moors to West Ham just two months after representing Non-League’s Three Lions.
“It’s a bit surreal at the minute but I’m looking forward to the experience and challenging myself,” Trotman told The NLP. “Joe Wheatley has been there and he really enjoyed it.
“I spoke to Dapo the other day too. We were in the same year at Uni and he loved playing for England C as well.”
Trotman is his second year of a Banking, Finance and Management degree – something he was spurred to by a leg break in a youth team game for Luton Town.
“I was at Luton from the age of eight and did quite well,” Trotman said. “I made my debut at 16 and I was flying. I got my pro deal and then John Still left. As I came back from my injury Nathan Jones came in and I wasn’t at the same level as before.
“That was my fault really. Mentally I was poor – I took it for granted. I worked hard to get back from the injury. I was running every day, rowing, the physio took me through it all. But I think I relaxed after I got back and I wasn’t performing at the same level.
“I fell out of love with football. I had the opportunity to go to other clubs but I wanted to go to go to Uni.
“I wanted something to fall back on. A lot of my mates went to university and it was always something I wanted to do. I’ve seen people who make it work – George Williams at MK Dons – and then I’ve got it for life.”
Trotman played for Loughborough University in the Midland Football League before joining Nuneaton and then following manager Tommy Wright to Darlington.
“This season has really been my first playing every game again and I think I’m doing better,” he said. “I just need to score some goals – everyone is getting onto me about it!”