Williams finally in Republic of Ireland squad

Graham Burke of Shamrock Rovers

Martin O'Neill's side play Celtic (May 20), France (May 28) and the USA (June 2).

Burke, he said, has caught his eye over the course of the season, most recently in the game against Cork City which O'Neill attended, and he is looking forward to having a closer look at him.

O'Neill wants the young players in his squad to feel comfortable making that step up, which is one of the reasons that the manager likes to assimilate the prospects into the squad environment ahead of donning the green jersey for the first time. League of Ireland players receiving worldwide call-ups is something of a rarity, but the former Aston Villa man has been on fire this year and gets the nod up front along with fellow new recruit Callum Robinson of Preston.

Bradley said: "We are in the middle of the second series of league games when the worldwide games come around so I will be speaking with Martin [O'Neill] on how we can best accommodate each other and hopefully we see Graham wear the Ireland jersey soon enough".

"It was his overall play and I think he did really fine in the game".

"In that way it's good, and it's nice to have him in the squad".

More news: N.Korea announces date for nuclear site closure

"He has nice ability".

"Now he has come back from Villa, and I don't know, it may be homesickness, it may be a few things, maybe he didn't get the proper break, I really, really don't know that".

"It looks like he's showing that ability again and who knows what might happen in the future". I have, during my time, put some players into the squad that have made a peripheral squad and then dropped out. But if he gets the chance, then go take it.

The day before Scott Brown's testimonial, the Hoops are due to travel to play Sligo Rovers (19 May) in the first of three Premier Division games in the space of seven days.

However, the Hoops boss plans to speak to Martin O'Neill about the 24-year-old attacker's availability for the Republic of Ireland's three upcoming friendlies.

"I think that this is a big opportunity", he said. I think players playing in the Championship, never mind anything else, find it hard to play football (at global level), particularly in qualification games either in the Euros or the World Cup.

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