Northern Ireland v England? No brainer for Jamal Lewis

Jamal Lewis was not interested in playing for England. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Jamal Lewis was not interested in playing for England. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Jamal Lewis did not have to think twice about plumping for Northern Ireland over England.

Norwich City's Luton-bred youngster is in line for his first senior cap in Saturday's Windsor Park friendly against South Korea.

Lewis represented the country of his mother at age group level, but after an impressive breakthrough at Carrow Road there was never any question of waiting for potential interest from the Three Lions.

'Obviously, half my family's from here so it was a bit of a no-brainer when Michael (O'Neill) asked me to join the senior squad,' said Lewis.

'I was just delighted.

'Everything's moving so quickly, I'm just trying to take it all in my stride.

'My mum Catrina, who is from Belfast, was ecstatic, she was going crazy. My mum's coming over and that will be great for her.

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'Obviously there were decisions to be made - regarding Northern Ireland or England - but I've made it so it's in the past now.

'I just want to enjoy it with the Northern Ireland squad and move forward.

'I'm trying to take everything in my stride; club football's going well and to get called up for your national team as well, it's a great honour.

'These are the kind of moments you dream about when you're younger.

'Now it's come you kind of pinch yourself sometimes but you just get on with it and just enjoy your football.'

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Lewis grabbed his chance under Daniel Farke since a December debut against Brentford and with West Brom's Chris Brunt weighing up whether to retire from the international stage, the 20-year-old is ready to stake a claim.

'Chris is a vital member of the team so it would be good to have him back, no matter what,' said Lewis, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph.

'But, if he doesn't come back, that obviously gives me a little bit of an opportunity to play in the team and make the left-back spot my own.

'The lads are really welcoming, really nice. We had our first training session (on Tuesday) which was good - just to stretch out the legs, get the ball moving.

'We've got a lot of talented players in this group, if we can just work well it seems like we can do a lot.

'It's a really promising sight and I'm looking forward to playing my first game at the weekend.'