Trevor Carson can earn first Northern Ireland cap says Pools team-mate Liam Donnelly
Hartlepool United full-back Liam Donnelly is backing team-mate and countryman Trevor Carson to earn his first international cap.
And the Northern Ireland Under-21 skipper hopes he won’t be too far behind.
Carson is part of Michael O’Neill’s 24-man squad for their World Cup qualification match against San Marino at Windsor Park on Saturday, as well as the trip to take on defending world champions Germany on Tuesday.
He will fight it out with current incumbent, Norwich City’s Michael McGovern, and St Johnstone keeper Alan Mannus for the number one jersey.
Donnelly, who is also away with his country and is expected to skipper the side for their U21 Euro qualifier this evening against Ukraine in Kiev, reckons O’Neill could do no worse than turn to Carson, who has been in outstanding form for Pools this season.
And he is hopeful he can follow in the footsteps of the 28-year-old former Sunderland trainee, and make the jump to the senior setup himself.
On pal Carson’s chances, Pools youngster Donnelly said: “It is good for Trev to in the international squad.
“For his performances this season, he 100% deserves it.
“Hopefully he can get a few games for the first team.
“Obviously I hope I can maybe join him, too.”
Donnelly is a realist when it comes to his country’s chances at international level.
The Green and White Army might have had some fun in France this summer, with O’Neill’s men unexpectedly reaching the last 16 of the European Championships.
But Donnelly suspects this will not be the norm.
“We are not the most gifted nation in the world,” he said.
“But we can say that we have managed to improve over the last few years. Hopefully that continues but we all know it will be difficult.”
Pulling on the Northern Irish shirt fills former Fulham kid Donnelly with pride, but he admits that wearing Pools’ blue and white at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium is just as fulfilling.
He said: “I am captain for the 21s. I have 10 or so caps and I enjoy playing for my country.
“It is good to get away.
“We have a double header
“We are playing against France next week who we know have a high calibre of player.
“I enjoy playing with Hartlepool just as much, though.”