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Meyler's mind on England

A RETURN TO the Premier League with Hull City already in the bag, David Meyler is hoping that a memorable May can bring even more good news as he hopes to celebrate his 24th birthday with an appearance for Ireland at Wembley in three weeks' time.

The former Cork City man is currently on a well-earned break as the Championship season with Hull City has finished, Steve Bruce's side and their four-strong Irish contingent winning automatic promotion to the Premier League.

But Meyler is hoping for positive news on Monday when Giovanni Trapattoni names his squad for the four-game programme of internationals, which includes that mouth-watering friendly against the English at Wembley.

Meyler didn't make the squad for the recent internationals, against Sweden and Austria, and while he was included in the panel for the previous matches against Poland and Greece he didn't feature. So his last taste of international action was as a late substitute in the 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands last year.

But he is hopeful that a memorable season, which began with Meyler at Sunderland and finished up with Premier League promotion, can carry on to the international stage.

"The league season is over and it's great to be promoted, but hopefully I have a few more games to play this season. The Ireland squad is out on Monday and I hope I am in it," Meyler told the Herald.

"The England game is on my 24th birthday so the chance to play at Wembley for my country on my birthday would really be a dream come true – I don't think it could get any better than that. May will have been some month for me if I can start the month by getting Hull promoted and finish it off by winning a senior cap at Wembley."

But the partying and celebrating will cease, he says. "Just after the Cardiff game last weekend I was in the corridor at the stadium, I met my dad and he was just so delighted for me. He told me how proud he was of me – but then he said 'Right, we go back training in two weeks' as he wants me to stay on my toes," Meyler says.

"I will have a few days away in the sun. In the next few weeks hopefully I will get into the Ireland squad and be involved with them for the four games over the summer, but after that it's a case of looking ahead to next season, so I will be keeping myself fit and in shape over the summer. My dad will be keeping an eye on how I am doing.

"It's going to be such a challenge in the Premier League next season, we all know that, but we are ready for it," he stated, feeling vindicated by his decision to leave Sunderland mid-season and drop down a division to Hull.

"When I was thinking about making the move I chatted to my dad about it. He just said that if I was going to go down into the Championship I had to make sure that Hull got promoted and I got back to the Premier League, and now I have done that.

"You sometimes have to take two steps backwards to move forwards but I have moved forwards now."

It's hard to knock the smiles off the faces of Hull players and supporters these days on the back of that drama on the final day of the season, with a goal by Paul McShane proving to be a decisive part of the day.



"I was delighted for Paul to score, but all the Irish lads at the club have had a great season and it will be great to see Paul, Stephen Quinn and Robbie Brady in the Premier next season," Meyler added.

"We are very tight as a group, we work hard together and I think our spirit and our willingness to fight and work hard sums up what the club is about."

While recently promoted teams to England's Premier League often struggle, as players are unaccustomed to the sheer demands of that league, Meyler hopes that top-flight experience which players already hold will stand to them. Even of the club's Irish quartet, three of them have already played in the Premier League extensively, Meyler for Sunderland, McShane for Sunderland and Hull, and Stephen Quinn for Sheffield United.

"It is an asset, if you have already played in the Premier," he says. "I know we are all itching to go again, give it a go again in the Premier and show that, as players, we deserve to be there." Hull sealed promotion last weekend with that remarkable finish against Cardiff City, where Watford's failure to win meant that Hull went up automatically – along with Cardiff – and avoided the slog of the play-offs, with a celebration at the club's stadium on Wednesday night.

"It was good to go to the stadium and meet all the fans, they are the ones that this all means so much to," says Meyler.

"We have the whole city of Hull behind us and I suppose we are local heroes now.

"When I came to the club the hope was that we could get promoted but to go up the way we did was something else.

"It was down to the players on the day but so much credit has to go to our manager, he got us over the line and we all owe Steve Bruce so much."