GOALKEEPER Tom King returns to action with Newport County AFC today after an “incredible” week away with Wales, which ended with his adopted country booking a place at Euro 2020.

The Plymouth-born stopper represented England at under-17 level but he’s now fully committed to the country of his mum and grandmother after his surprise call-up to Ryan Giggs’ squad.

King, who joined County from Millwall in the summer, was on the bench for the 2-0 wins in Azerbaijan and at home to Hungary that secured Wales’ qualification for next summer’s tournament.

And Tuesday’s victory at the Cardiff City Stadium is an experience that he will never forget.

“To be called up was a great honour and Tuesday was a special night, which will live long in the memories of a lot of Wales fans and for me as well,” said the 24-year-old ahead of today’s home clash with Oldham Athletic.

“I got goose bumps during the national anthem and from that moment on, you could tell it was going to be a special night.

“It was incredible. I know I’ve only been there for the last two fixtures but the lads were so welcoming and it felt like I’d been a part of the whole qualifying campaign.”

The Welsh motto is ‘Together. Stronger’ and King found himself in the thick of the celebrations after the win over Hungary – much to the amusement of his County teammates.

“I was stood next to Gareth Bale with the [Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order] flag and I got of bit of banter from the lads here because of that,” he said.

“There’s also a video doing the rounds of me sliding into the studs of Will Vaulks when we did the big slide.

South Wales Argus:

“They’re all so together and it is almost like a club spirit there,” added King.

“It’s an unbelievable camaraderie and, having had a taste of it, it’s no surprise to me that they’ve done what they’ve done.

“The group chat is still going. I’m in it and I want to stay in it, but I don’t want to be accidently pocket-calling Gareth Bale at 3am in the morning. I don’t think that would go down well!”

King admits that he was a little nervous to meet the likes of Real Madrid star Bale and Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey, but a friendship with Wales number one Wayne Hennessey helped break the ice.

“The first five or 10 minutes in training was quite daunting but I know Wayne Hennessey from my time at Crystal Palace and he introduced me to Gareth Bale,” he explained.

“Wayne’s a great guy and a great goalie and it was a big help having him there.

“I was a bit star-struck at first but as soon as you step across that white line, you’re there to do a job.

“You’re not there to stare at the megastars in the squad, you’re there to keep them out [in training].

“The coaches and the staff were great. In the first five minutes of the session they could see I was a little bit twitchy but they just told me to keep going and after that I settled in well.

“The biggest thing that I took from it is that I didn’t feel out of place for the whole week, on and off the pitch.”

The next step is to win a cap and if he achieves that while at Rodney Parade, King will become the first current County player to represent Wales since Nigel Vaughan and Steve Lowndes both played in a friendly against Brazil in June 1983.

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