SEAN Dyche hailed Nick Pope's World Cup call-up as 'fantastic' and a 'great story'.

Pope has been named in England's 23-man squad for the tournament in Russia this summer, capping a remarkable campaign that has seen him win countless player of the year awards at Turf Moor.

The 26-year-old hadn't played in the Premier League before replacing the injured Tom Heaton in the win over Crystal Palace on September 10, but he has since kept 12 top flight clean sheets, helping the Clarets to seventh in the league and keeping Heaton out of the side once he returned to fitness.

“What a season Nick has had and to be in the main squad speaks for itself in terms of the season he’s had,” said Dyche.

“He not only came in and did a great job in the early days of Tom Heaton being injured, but actually made it hard for Tom to get back through very good performances.

“That’s been recognised by his Player of the Year award, internationally and now by a squad call-up for a World Cup Finals, which is fantastic for him and us.”

Pope was called up for friendlies against Holland and Italy in March, but didn't win a cap, but his form this season has seen him overtake Joe Hart as one of three goalkeepers in Gareth Southgate's squad, alongside Jordan Pickford and Jack Butland.

He follows Heaton into the England squad via the Clarets and Dyche praised his group of goalkeepers as well as coach Billy Mercer for the work done behind the scenes.

“There has been a lot of good work done at the training ground with Billy Mercer and all the other ‘keepers and, along with the mentality of the whole team, he has definitely played a part in our success,” he said.

“I think he has already shown this season that he is maturing as a player and has certainly matured into the Premier League over the season.

“The original international recognition was a great thing in itself, but to now take it to the next level is fantastic.

“We can use all the words we want, but it’s the marvel of football sometimes and Nick’s is a great story.”

Pope will link up with England at St George's Park on Monday, ahead of friendlies with Nigeria at Wembley on June 2 and Costa Rica at Elland Road on June 7.

He will be joined by Heaton and James Tarkowski, who are both on the standby list of five players and will train with the Three Lions in case of any injuries in the 23-man squad.

Heaton's spot on the list of standby's was unexpected, with the 32 -year-old having not played a competitive game since suffering his dislocated shoulder injury eight months ago.

“Firstly, and very importantly, it shows what a top-class keeper Tom is, because he’s had a long spell out and been patient before getting back to full fitness, yet Gareth is still thinking of him now,” said Dyche.

“That’s fantastic and is a testament to his professionalism and performance levels.

"With ‘Tarky’, it’s similar to ‘Popey’, in that all the hard work he put in last season, while waiting patiently for a run of games, has paid him back,” added Dyche, who promoted Tarkowski to frontline duty following the sale of Michael Keane to Everton to last summer.

"Their professionalism, away from playing, eventually pays you back and certainly in their case, that’s the case.”