Saints president Terry Paine has encouraged Rickie Lambert to make sure he properly soaks up the experience of featuring in a World Cup.
The striker was one of three players from the club to be selected yesterday by Roy Hodgson for this summer’s tournament in Brazil.
But, while Luke Shaw and Adam Lallana may have more World Cups to look forward to, this is likely to be Lambert’s one and only shot at it.
“It’s absolutely great news. It’s going to be a great experience for them,” said Paine, who was part of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning squad.
“They have really got to try and take it on board.
“Certainly for Rickie, he has to make the most of this, because by the time the next one comes around he won’t be around in terms of playing for his country.
“They’ve got to take it on board, soak it all up, and hopefully it’s a successful one.”
Reflecting on the rise of Lambert from a lower league player to a World Cup star, Paine added: “He would never have dreamed of this four or five years ago. It’s a dream come true for him.
“It’s all come very late for him in his football life, and it just shows that if you keep plugging away and performing then there’s always a chance you’ll break through.
“He took his goal against Manchester United very well on Sunday, and that is something Roy will be looking at.
“You’re not going to get many chances in a World Cup, so you always want guys who you know can finish for you.”
Paine also welcomed Hodgson’s decision to take a youthful-looking squad to South America.
“Everybody looks at Roy Hodgson as a manager that is very cautious, but he has thrown a little bit of caution to the wind here,” he said.
“He’s gone for a young squad, and I think you need those legs at a World Cup.
“They may lack a bit of experience, but they will certainly give you the legs to help get the job done.
“There’s just a little touch of excitement about the selection.
“He could easily have gone for the tried and trusted, and not taken any gambles, but he’s thrown in some youth.
“I welcome it, I think it’s a good mix.”