Saturday 18 November 2017

Walters hoping for Ireland call

JONATHAN Walters says he wants to follow Stoke City team-mates Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson into the senior squad with Ireland.

Wilson, capped once at B level by Ireland, has been attracting attention this season since his successful move from Cardiff City to Stoke and has scored two goals in eight games for Tony Pulis' side -- Kevin Doyle is the only Irish player in England's top flight who has scored as many this season.

As Walters' club career floundered -- just four years ago he was playing in the equivalent of the fourth division in England with Chester City -- so did his international fortunes and a B cap, added to his U21 caps, was as far as he went.

And Walters, who qualifies for Ireland as his late mother was from Dublin, is eager to revive his Ireland career.

"There are lads in the squad now who play in the Championship, so I don't see why it shouldn't be me if I'm playing well," he says.

"It would mean an awful lot to me to make my family proud, especially my mother. That is who I am representing in choosing to play for Ireland.

"My mother came from Dublin, so I spoke to the family over there and I know how much it will mean to them if I do get the chance to win my first cap."

He added: "With Glenn Whelan and Marc Wilson already in the squad, it would be fantastic to link up with them if I am called up next month.

"But first and foremost I'm concentrating on doing a job here at Stoke. It's important I keep playing well here."

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