Kieran Richardson played regularly for West Bromwich Albion last season, for England this season, but is still waiting to enjoy a similar luxury with Manchester United.
The 20-year-old midfield player, who made his debut for his country on their American tour this summer, was a second-half substitute in the 1-0 win against Wales at the weekend.
He increasingly looks like a viable left-sided option for Sven-Goran Eriksson, an area in which England are notoriously thin.
But Richardson, who spent last season on loan with Albion, says he will have to establish himself with United before he can start dreaming of playing at next year's World Cup.
"You have to be playing regular first-team football to really have a chance for England," he said. "At the moment I'm not really playing regular club football but it's a long season so I am hoping that my chances will come.
"When you are called into the team you have got to be ready and I will be.
"I'd like to be involved because the World Cup is coming up next summer. But all I want to do is play for Manchester United at the moment, because if I start playing well for my club then chances with England will follow."
Richardson has made only two appearances, both of them as a substitute, for United this season. "You've got to be ready in training and make sure you are working hard," he added.
"That is something I have been doing because when you are called into the team you have got to be ready. And I will be."
Meanwhile, David Beckham has warned his teammates not to underestimate Northern Ireland tonight. The England captain was impressed by the resistance of Lawrie Sanchez's men in the first half of their match at Old Trafford in March.
England won 4-0 but Beckham said: "When we played them at Old Trafford the scoreline flattered us. They didn't play as badly as the scoreline says.
"Nothing's unthinkable in football - sometimes these games go wrong. They made it hard for us at Old Trafford.
"After that first goal we kicked on but up until then they made it hard," said the Real Madrid midfielder, who said he and his team-mates had been impressed by the visiting support at Old Trafford and expects more vociferous backing for England's opponents tonight.
But Beckham hopes England have enough in their armoury to deal with the Northern Irish challenge, with Michael Owen tipped to return after he was banned from the 1-0 win in Wales at the weekend.
"Any team with Michael Owen in is dangerous," Beckham said. "He is one of best goalscorers England have produced, any team with him in is dangerous.
Kieran Richardson needs first-team play to aid England cause