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Duffy sets his heart on call-up from Trap

IRELAND U-21 skipper Shane Duffy yearns to be part of Giovanni Trapattoni's new-look senior set-up.

Everton defender Duffy received his maiden call-up from Trap in 2010 – before two of the new breed currently invigorating the Irish set-up, Seamus Coleman and James McCarthy, were actually given their chance.

While the Derry man is still awaiting his first senior cap, Coleman and McCarthy continued their ascent at Wembley Stadium, proving against England that they are the future for Ireland.

Duffy, who leads out the U-21s against Denmark in Fredericia today, is fully aware that his club situation needs improving before he can contemplate returning to the senior fold.

"Having been part of the full squad as an 18-year-old, my ambition is to get back there," insisted the centre-back.

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"The Ireland team has changed a lot since last summer's Euro finals, but I can't complain about not being in the squad – as much as I'd like to be part of it.

"I've just had my worst season, in terms of lack of games, so I didn't expect call-ups."

Though Duffy says he is indebted to David Moyes for bringing him to Everton, the Scot's move to Manchester United could enhance his first-team prospects at Goodison Park.

Today's game is a friendly, but Duffy had no qualms in declining an invitation to Marbella for the stag party of his clubmate Darron Gibson in order to captain his country.

"I'm dedicated!" he joked. "To be serious, though, this is our last warm-up game before the European qualifiers start in August against the Faroe Islands.

"I love playing for Ireland and there was never any question of me not showing up. I could do with a game, too."

Ireland U-21 (probable) v Denmark – A McCarey (Wolves); M Doherty (Wolves), S Duffy (Everton) - Capt, J Shaughnessy (Aberdeen), S McGinty (Unattached); S Carruthers (Aston Villa), J O'Sullivan (Blackburn Rvrs); S Murray (Watford), A Forde (Wolves), B McNamee (Derry City); A O'Brien (Millwall).

Irish Independent