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Ireland new boy Cox reveals family pride at call-up


Simon Cox Photo: Getty Images

Simon Cox Photo: Getty Images

Simon Cox Photo: Getty Images

Ireland new boy Simon Cox has spoken of his grandmother's pride after his elevation to Giovanni Trapattoni's squad for the end-of-season internationals.

The West Brom forward is the latest player to declare his international allegiance to Ireland, and has revealed that he has rescheduled his summer plans after the surprise call-up.

Cox (24) has cancelled a holiday to Marbella and pushed back another to Dubai after being invited onto the panel for the Carling Nations ties with Northern Ireland and Scotland, the Euro 2012 qualifier with Macedonia and a planned friendly with Italy. Now, the Reading-born attacker wants to seize the opportunity.

"It was something I never thought was going to come up, otherwise I wouldn't have booked my holidays," says Cox (pictured right). "The chance to play international football is not something I want to pass up. It's a good time for me to get in and around it at this stage of my development.

"I see getting caps for Ireland as a proud moment and so do my family. I got a call from the FAI to say they were thinking of calling me up. They needed to trace back my family history to see exactly how I qualified to play for them. I always knew I could qualify for Ireland," continued Cox, whose grandmother hails from Galway.

"She is very proud. She moved over to England when she was young and married my grandad. All her sisters and my dad's cousins are still in Galway. I went over there during the last international break. They are ready and raring to go and watch the games.

"I know a few of the lads in the Ireland squad and hopefully it will be easy for me to settle in."

Cox started his career with his hometown club and spent time in the lower leagues before earning a move to WBA. He has enjoyed a good run in the team under Roy Hodgson.

Kevin Doyle is one of the players that Cox knows, and the Wexford native is on target to feature in the end-of-season games after coming through his first training session after a six-week absence with a knee problem. Wolves manager Mick McCarthy is mulling over whether to pitch the 27-year-old into this weekend's battle with Sunderland. "Kevin has only trained for the first time, let's see how he is. I'm sure he'll be fine," said McCarthy.

Doyle has stated that, in an ideal world, he wouldn't have any part in the relegation run-in, but the pressure of the situation is likely to dictate otherwise.

"It would be great if I'm actually not needed and we can survive anyway," he said. "Then I could get the knee back up to 110pc just to make sure. It's probably near enough close to 100pc now, but if I wasn't needed we'd have time to get it absolutely right."

Irish Independent