Promotion with Hull City last weekend represented mission accomplished for David Meyler but trotting out for Ireland at Wembley on his birthday would be a crowning glory.
There’ll be more than an end-of-season friendly feel to the meeting with England on May 29 and Meyler, inset, can think of no better way to celebrate turning 24 than by earning a fourth senior cap.
Fresh from helping the Tigers back into the top-flight on an eventful final day of the Championship, the Corkman has some formalities to wrap up before international matters gain his undivided attention.
“The season finished on Saturday but the boss (Steve Bruce) wants us back in today (Tues) for a chat,” explained Meyler.
“I’d love to be in the Ireland squad again but that’s not announced until next week. It’s always an honour and privilege to represent my country and to do it against England on my birthday would be especially nice.”
Having endured a frustrating couple of years with two serious injuries and Martin O’Neill’s reluctance to give him game-time at Sunderland, the former Cork City midfielder has reason more than most to revel in the glow promotion brings. His constant companion throughout those low points, his father John, was in his usual KC Stadium seat last Saturday when promotion was clinched.
Despite drawing 2-2 against Cardiff, another 15 minutes of agony had to be endured until confirmation of Watford’s failure to beat Leeds emerged.
“It was great to have my Dad there,” said Meyler. “He hasn’t missed a game since I joined Hull. He works at 100 miles per hour though and, because of him training the Carlow hurlers on Sunday morning, he had to head back to Ireland that night.”
There was an Irish spine to Hull’s promotion tilt, backboned by Meyler, Robbie Brady, Stephen Quinn and the inimitable Paul McShane, who grabbed the second goal on Saturday. Raised aloft by the quartet amid the celebrations in the directors’ box was a tricolour.
“We’ve developed a great team spirit at Hull and to have such an Irish presence is brilliant,” said Meyler.
“Steve Bruce knows he’ll get 100% honesty and commitment for Irish lads. There have been Irish players at all the clubs he’s managed.
“I believed in him (Bruce) five years ago at Sunderland, what he wanted to do and what he was all about.”
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