Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Norwich City goalkeeper Mark Bunn believes an extended run in the Canaries’ Premier League line-up can also help him break into the Republic of Ireland squad.
Bunn, along with midfielder Anthony Pilkington, are reportedly on a list of eligible players Giovanni Trapattoni is tracking as he bids to overhaul an ageing Irish squad.
The 28-year-old was born in Southgate, London, but qualifies to play for the Republic through his father and grandmother.
Following the retirement of Aston Villa’s Shay Given, there could be a vacancy in the ranks with Sunderland’s Keiren Westwood the current number one despite playing second fiddle to Black Cats’ first choice Simon Mignolet.
Bunn impressed against Martin O’Neill’s side on Sunday as City extended their unbeaten top flight run to eight games with a number of crucial saves after the interval.
The former Blackburn stopper is determined to make the most of his chance at club level after John Ruddy underwent thigh surgery over the weekend after being ruled out until February.
“It is one of my aims to try and break into the Republic of Ireland squad and if the opportunity arose I would definitely be interested in playing for them,” Bunn told SkySports.
“I think every player wants to play international football and play at the highest level and I am no different. I believe the goalkeeping spot with the Republic is up for grabs really since Shay Given retired.
“Keiren Westwood is first-choice at the minute, but he is not playing regularly for Sunderland. I now have a run of games in the Norwich team and it is a good time for me to show what I can do and impress hopefully.”
Trapattoni has paid two visits to Carrow Road earlier this season prior to recalling Bunn’s Norwich team mate Wes Hoolahan to the squad. The Dubliner played the second-half for the Republic in their most recent 1-0 friendly defeat to Greece in his hometown.
The Italian has also made no secret of his admiration for Pilkington, who featured at U21 level for the Republic.
Reports in the Irish press yesterday claimed the Irish set-up are keen to recruit the Darwen-bred midfielder, who notched the match-winner against the Wearsiders at the weekend.