A Preston North End striker has declared that he wishes to represent Ireland – despite having played for England at underage level.
Callum Robinson, speaking to The42, spoke of his ambition to get involved with the Irish national side – with whom he qualifies through an Irish grandmother.
The attacker has been influenced by the large Irish contingent at the Championship club, with Sean Maguire, Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan and Greg Cunningham all plying their trade at Deepdale.
The 23-year-old has been in fine form as of late, scoring four goals and registering six assists so far this campaign – building upon double figures in the 2016/17 campaign, where he also found the net against Arsenal in the FA Cup.
With a number of his team-mates having been called up in Martin O’Neill’s 30-man squad to face Turkey, Robinson has made no secret of his desire to get in on the act:
“I’m not saying that they are going to pick me, but I’d like to put it out there that I’m available and looking ahead to the future.”
The former England youth international also spoke of his admiration for Ireland, and how the supporters have helped him make up his mind when it comes to his national declaration:
“I was gutted when Ireland didn’t get through to the World Cup, but I remember seeing supporters in tears and I was just like ‘That’s what it’s about’. I haven’t played for Ireland so don’t know the feeling but when I saw that, and I heard the fans, it was amazing.”
“I’m often snapchatting Greg [Cunningham] saying ‘what an atmosphere’.”
With Robbie Keane and Daryl Murphy having recently retired from international football and Jon Walters likely to follow – Robinson could become available at the perfect time for Ireland, given their shortage in forwards at present.
On current form, there is no reason why the former Aston Villa man would not potentially be included by Martin O’Neill – and with many having swapped the Ireland shirt for England in recent years, Robinson’s decision makes for pleasant reading for Ireland supporters.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena