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Wednesday 13 December 2017

Clark hopes for regular Ireland role

Ciaran Clark hopes to make more appearances for Ireland after making his debut last month
Ciaran Clark hopes to make more appearances for Ireland after making his debut last month

Aston Villa central defender Ciaran Clark has reiterated his commitment and desire to play for Ireland.

Clark, who has skippered Villa in recent matches, started Ireland's friendly international with Greece last month. He is still eligible to play for England whom he represented at under-17 and under-18 level, as he has not played in a competitive match for Giovanni Trappatoni's team.

But Clark is still determined to play for the country of the birth of his parents. He said: "It was nice to get the game last time, a friendly. All I can do is keep trying to play well here at Villa and hopefully I'll be in the back of their minds with Ireland."

Clark added: "Wes Hoolahan was in as well against Greece and a couple of other lads were picked as well. It does give the other players hope now they might get a chance in the up and coming fixtures.

"I was regular for England Under-17, Under-18s, at the start of my career, but it's moved on now. I know there are a couple of friendly internationals leading up to the World Cup qualifiers and I've got to see what happens with that."

Clark, 23, has relished being Villa captain in the absence of the injured Ron Vlaar and admits skippering several of the players at youth level has made the role easier.

He said: "At the start of the season I never imagined I would be captain now. When a new manager comes in, you just want to try to get a place in the team first and foremost.

"That was my only goal and I've managed to play a number of games which has been a massive bonus for me.

"I captained at reserve and youth-team levels. I am vocal on the pitch. I do like to bark the orders out. It is just passing on info really, getting everyone communicating.

"It is maybe easier to communicate with lads you've played with for a while. The older lads are a lot more experienced and know what they should be doing anyway."

Press Association

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