Pilkington wants to play for Ireland

In-form Norwich winger Anthony Pilkington has confirmed he wants to play for the Republic of Ireland.

There had been concern that the Blackburn-born winger could yet declare for England but last week Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni claimed Pilkington is “very interested’’ in representing the Republic.

Pilkington was watched by Trapattoni’s assistant Marco Tardelli in Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League win over Wigan, a match where the 24-year-old scored a goal a made a goal for Wes Hoolahan.

Now Pilkington has confirmed he is hopeful of gaining international clearance to represent Ireland, possibly in time for February’s friendly against Poland.

“I have had a call off them and I am just sorting out the papers at the moment,’’ he said.

“It depends what happens with the next game, which I think is February. I’ve just got to sort the papers out and take it from there.

“My grandma originates from Ireland — she’s from Dublin — so I am more than happy to play for them if selected.”

Norwich manager and former Ireland international Chris Hughton said he would be delighted to see Pilkington wearing the green of Ireland.

Hughton said: “Any way that it happens, I’m always delighted for any player to be involved at international level.

“It enhances their career and it can be some real high moments in their career. I chose the Republic and for me it was a wonderful decision that I never, ever regretted.

“Anthony is a very mature young man and any big decisions he has to make, he’s very capable of making.

“If it happens, I’ll be delighted for him but that’s always going to be down to him.”


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