Patrick Bamford on why he rejected Ireland call.
Patrick Bamford has been speaking about why he rejected the chance to play for the Republic of Ireland.
The Leeds United striker received his first call-up for England last week, effectively ending speculation that he could one day play for Ireland due to having an Irish grandparent.
As Bamford slugged it out in the EFL Championship prior to Leeds’ promotion, Mick McCarthy and other Ireland managers sounded him out about pulling on the green jersey, which he did one on occasion at under-18 level.
Patrick Bamford: “I didn’t think it would be fair.”
However, the soon-to-be 28-year-old has now explained why he held out for his England dream, saying that he didn’t want to take a spot away from an Irish player, but also believed in his ability to play for England one day.
“I didn’t think that would be fair,” Bamford told The Independent from the England camp yesterday. “So I had to stay true to myself really and what I wanted to achieve and work hard until it hopefully happened.
“I always believed that I would get to the England stage. It wasn’t so much being selfless and not standing in someone’s way, it was also believing that I would get to this level at some point.
Patrick Bamford’s long journey to the top.
Bamford endured a nomadic career before finally settling at Leeds. He was bought by Chelsea from Nottingham Forest in January 2012 before spending the next five years going out on loan to places like MK Dons, Derby County and Middlesbrough, among others.
He was signed permanently by Boro in January 2017 before moving to Leeds 18 months later, where his goals helped the Elland Road club to Premier League promotion.
Last season, he netted 17 goals as they finished 9th in their first top flight campaign since 2003/04.
All the while, Bamford held on to his England ambition, even if at times it looked unlikely he would ever get the call.
An England debut awaits.
“There were times when I thought maybe it wouldn’t happen,” he added yesterday.
“But obviously I had to get my head back on track and push towards it. I always said never give up.
“Even if I end up getting called up when I’m 36 or the latter stages of my career, for me that would be a triumph. So it was just about keeping going until the day I hang my boots up. And if I do it I do it, if not I know I’ve tried my best.”
Bamford will be hoping to make his England debut over the coming days as they head into a World Cup qualifying triple-header against Hungary, Andorra and Poland.