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Lions star Shaun's Ireland ambition

MILLWALL man Shaun Williams says he has not abandoned hope of breaking into the senior Ireland squad and joining his team-mate David Forde, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.

Williams (27) has been capped at U23 level but has not yet made into the senior panel, despite the urgings of his club boss Ian Holloway who feels that Williams, and Lions captain, Alan Dunne, should also get a chance under Martin O'Neill.

"It's his decision," says Williams of O'Neill. "I won't be nudging people to try and get myself into the squad. Hopefully I can get in, though, 
if I stay in the team, play well and the team is doing well.

"It would be a dream come true to represent my country. Club comes first and if I'm doing well for Millwall, then it's all well and good if I get selected.

"If not, then it is no different from the rest of my career so far. If I am doing well then hopefully the opportunity will arise. And if not then I just need to keep doing the right things for Millwall."

Holloway, who signed Williams from MK Dons last season, is a fan of the former Sporting Fingal man but also the Lions' stalwart Alan Dunne. Club captain Dunne, who was born in Dublin but raised in London, has never been capped at any level by Ireland but Holloway feels that the 32-year-old should be involved.

"Surely they've got to be looking at Dunney? Is there a better defender than Dunney in Ireland at the moment? He's a fantastic player - he's in great form, he's my captain and he deserves it," said Holloway.

"I think Williams could play for Ireland but it depends what position they are looking for. Shaun can pass the ball as good as anybody. He's been in the lower leagues for most of his career but I believe he's improving all the time," he added.

St Patrick's Athletic saw one change to their squad in the last 24 hours as keeper Rene Gilmartin quit the club and rejoined Championship side Watford. Former Ireland U21 cap Gilmartin joined Pats mid-way through last season but was unable to dislodge Brendan Clarke and he departs having made just one league appearance this term.