Mark Bunn the next Canary aiming for Republic of Ireland involvement
PUBLISHED: 10:13 21 December 2012 | UPDATED: 10:17 21 December 2012
Norwich City goalkeeper Mark Bunn admits he is keen to get involved in the Republic of Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign.
Like team-mate Anthony Pilkington, the 28-year-old is in the process of committing to the Republic’s cause ahead of their friendlies next year – qualifying thanks to his Irish father and his family that still lives on the Emerald Isle. Arguably there is an opportunity for Bunn, with Ireland’s current goalkeeping pool yet to catch up with the international retirement of Shay Given.
Sunderland number two Keiren Westwood has not made a Premier League appearance in 12 months, while Millwall veteran David Forde and Motherwell stopper Darren Randolph make up Giovanni Trappatoni’s current keeper trio. But come February, Bunn hopes to get his chance – and with City first choice John Ruddy not expected to return until March, first team experience at Carrow Road in the meantime should not be an obstacle.
“I spoke to a couple of guys about it so as long as I keep on doing well, I would hope to be involved in the next Ireland game,” said Bunn.
“I have always said it that if I managed to get into the team here I would want to push for the Irish squad as well. Now that Shay has retired as well, there is a good chance because the other keepers are not really playing. As long as I keep doing well for Norwich then I want to play for Ireland.
“It would be a massive honour. Wes Hoolahan loves playing for Ireland. I don’t know what Pilks thinks – if he gets a call-up, I think he would go. It is great when you see the lads getting picked for international teams. For me, that would be a dream, to play for Ireland.”
Bunn is set to make his fifth Premier League start for the Canaries against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, but City’s skipper may well be missing.
While Chris Hughton’s official line was “doubtful” on Grant Holt’s involvement due to a hamstring injury, it seems highly likely the number nine will miss out – with the hope being he will make City’s testing festive run.
Ryan Bennett will return to training today, and the City boss will decide whether to include him and fit again Harry Kane in his matchday squad.
Ruddy (thigh) and Andrew Surman (knee) are City’s only other absentees.