WHEN it comes to England C, Lincoln City keeper Paul Farman must have broken a house of mirrors.
The 22-year-old was all set to make his Three Lions debut in Durres on Tuesday at the second attempt.
Farman, then at Gateshead, had been called up by boss Paul Fairclough for a friendly last September against India Under-23 at Dagenham & Redbridge.
But that was cancelled at the last minute when the opposition pulled out.
Since then the Imps stopper has had to bide his time. He’s made the contingency squad on several occasions but Albania was meant to be his chance to show what he can do.
And then came the rain.
“I’d put the shirt on in the changing room and it felt good. I must be some kind of jinx,” Farman says as we sit in reception of the team’s five-star Adriatik Hotel.
“I guess it could happen back in England, there’s not much you can do about the weather. We’ve obviously travelled a long way; it was great to be a part of the banter with the boys and the build-up.
“Up until then it was going quite well. I think I’ve seen the changing rooms flood in Sunday League, but to see it at an international game, I had my fingers crossed but when the water started coming through the floor we knew there wasn’t much hope.”
Despite the wait for that first cap continuing, Farman is looking at the positives.
Sitting alongside us is goalkeeper coach Mick Payne listing the keepers that have graduated into the Football League via the England C set-up.
David Stockdale, Chris Weale, Adam Bartlett, Lance Cronin, Seb Brown – the alumni is a long one.
“It’s a massive experience,” Farman, who was due to play the second-half, says.
“I get to take the strip home and that’s a big reminder. It will go up on my wall and even if I don’t get picked again I can remember this trip.
“But of course I want to be involved again. This trip has given me a taste of what it can be like, what the standard is like in training and of the coaches.
“It’s a massive shame because I was really looking forward to it. I haven’t been capped yet, and hopefully that is next, but it still goes on my CV that I’ve been in an England C squad.
“When you see where other players who have played for this team it gives you confidence. If anything this disappointment will drive me on even more.”
Farman, who was playing in the Northern League with Washington just four years ago, will know focus on his club duties with Lincoln and helping them away from a sticky situation at the bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier.
“I had a good spell on loan there last season and in the summer the manager rung me up to make an offer.
“I couldn’t have been happier to be told I would be No.1 and have that backing of the manager. I think I’ve started well this season and England C is a reward for that.”
On the flight home to England the big keeper hit the jackpot with an extra leg-room seat, maybe his luck is changing.