Giovanni Trapattoni has relented and included James McClean in the Republic of Ireland squad for the Czech game. The Sunderland starlet will link up with the players in Dublin ahead of next week’s friendly. Oh, and Paul Green has been called up too.
The former Derry City dynamo tweeted: “Absolutely buzzin and honoured to be called up to represent my country… best feeling there is.”
His standout performances for the Black Cats have caused even Trapattoni, notoriously conservative when it comes to selections, to sit up and take notice and his manager at the Stadium of Light, Martin O’Neill, has been championing the international call-up of the 22-year-old.
Bought by Steve Bruce for £350,000 from Derry, McClean has contributed four goals in Sunderland’s impressive league and FA Cup run where they dumped out Arsenal at the weekend.
He began life in the Airtricity League with a bang scoring on his debut in a League Cup win in 2008 and represented the League of Ireland in the Dublin Super Cup last year. McClean becomes the latest in the line of Ireland internationals to emerge from the domestic game in recent years.