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New city boy Greg ready to move up

NEW Ireland recruit Greg Cunningham has told Giovanni Trapattponi he won't let him down after the Irish manager plucked the Galway lad from the Manchester City reserves and pitched him into the Ireland squad for next month's friendly with Brazil in London.

And the 19-year-old is not fazed by his rapid promotion to the senior Irish squad after just 45 minutes of first team football with City - instead he's relishing the chance to take on former club-mate Robinho in the Emirates Stadium clash.

Cunningham was one of three new faces named by Trapattoni in the 23-man squad for the Brazil tie, as Wigan star James McCarthy and Portsmouth defender Marc Wilson were also handed their first call-ups. It was also confirmed that Derry-born Everton youngster Shane Duffy had turned his back on his native Northern Ireland and formally declared for the Republic.

"It's a huge step for me, I am basically going from the City reserves to the Ireland squad for a game against one of the best teams in the world, and while I'm still in shock at the news, I think I am ready," Cunningham told the Herald.

"Roberto Mancini at City showed his faith in me by picking me to play against Scunthorpe for my debut last month and I didn't let him down, I think I played well and we won the game, and I won't let Ireland down either. It's a big boost for my confidence for Mr Trapattoni to put me in the squad when I am only 19 and have only played one game for my club, and I would like to repay that.

"I don't know if I will get to play against Brazil. For me even being in the squad is an achievement. We have 23 players in the squad and not everyone can play, but if I am picked to play, even for a few minutes as sub, I will do my best.

"It would be great to play against Robinho, who I knew from City. Brazil have a lot of star names but for me, as a City player, to play against him in an international would be something else," added the former Mervue United man.

"I think I will be a bit anxious when the time comes to link up with the squad in London on Sunday but Shay Given will be travelling down with me, Shay has been great to me ever since he came to the club so hopefully I'll have no problems settling in."