Ipswich Town striker George Hirst says he hopes to one day follow in his dad's footsteps and pull on the Three Lions of England at senior level.

The 24-year-old hitman has seen team-mates Cameron Burges and Massimo Luongo (both Australia), Sam Morsy (Egypt), Nathan Broadhead and Wes Burns (both Wales) and Janoi Donacien (St Lucia) play senior international football recently, and says that's been a lift for the whole squad.

"It’s just nice to see the lads getting the recognition they deserve," he enthused.

"We’ve had a lot of players playing a lot of good football this season and to see them getting picked and going away on international duty, it’s a credit to themselves, a credit to the club and a credit to the whole set-up here that Ipswich Town is a club that people are coming to look at when selecting for the national teams.”

East Anglian Daily Times: Cameron Burgess, right, is one of several Town players to have played senior international football recentlyCameron Burgess, right, is one of several Town players to have played senior international football recently (Image: PA Images)
Hirst, who's represented England from U17 to U20 level, was asked if he still harbours senior international ambitions of his own.

The 24-year-old admitted: "Yeah, it’s obviously every footballer’s goal – one of the highest achievements you can ever get in your career is to play for your country.

“To be selected as one of the best about for your country, I spoke to my dad and he did it three times and said to me himself that there’s no greater honour.

“That would be a long-term aspiration.

"We’re in the Championship at the minute and that’s not something on the near horizon - I’m clear about that - but if I can keep doing my job and getting the best out of myself that I possibly can and if we keep winning games and taking this team to where it belongs, then you never know down the line.”

East Anglian Daily Times: George's dad David Hirst, left, played for England three timesGeorge's dad David Hirst, left, played for England three times (Image: PA Images)
Hirst's dad, David, is a Sheffield Wednesday legend who played at the highest level of the game. For Hirst junior, he's an an invaluable sounding board as he bids to progress his career.

“He enjoys watching it, he watches every single game," Hirst said of his father following Town games.

"He thinks I should be on at least three times as many goals as I’m currently on, which I can’t disagree with!

“He thinks I’m doing well, and he knows I’ve got a lot more to come, a lot to work on to really take myself to a different level.

“We speak about games fairly often and it’s nice to have that there. If you’ve had a game you can talk about it, and he can give me tips free of charge.”

As well as his dad, Hirst can also call on Town boss Kieran McKenna and his coaching team as he strives to improve.

And he revealed that McKenna has helped him change his thinking as a striker - and realise it's not just the goals he scores which determine his value to the team.

East Anglian Daily Times: George Hirst says he's starting to realise goals aren't the only thing which matterGeorge Hirst says he's starting to realise goals aren't the only thing which matter (Image: PA Images)
Indeed, having bagged seven in 23 games as Town surged to promotion last season, Hirst has yet to really catch fire in front of goal this term, notching two strikes in 12 contests thus far.

But his tireless work for the team, and his efforts in setting up others, are a vital part of Town's total football approach.

“In previous years I’d have said that if I’m not scoring then I must not be playing well," Hirst admitted.

“I think recently, speaking to the boss, he’s made me very aware of the fact that I can come off the pitch having not scored in two, three, four games but what might keep me in the team is the other work.

“Any striker will tell you that they want to score goals no matter what. They could have the worst game in the world and if they come off with a goal and a 1-0 win they’ll be the happiest man on the pitch.

“But for me I’m learning that my role in the team is bigger than just the goals and it takes a bit of getting used to.

“When you hear the staff members saying ‘it’s not just about the goals’ – everything I’ve been taught is the complete opposite of that.

“But it’s a nice feeling, you know that you’re not going on the pitch saying ‘I have to score today to stay in the team.’

East Anglian Daily Times: Hirst works tirelessly for the teamHirst works tirelessly for the team (Image: PA Images)
“Now it’s ‘I can just go and play well, I can just go and to do my job that is required of me for this game.’

“A lot of the time that will result in me having a chance and if I don’t take the chance so be it – but I’ve still carried out the other nine out of ten things that I needed to do that day, whether it be my touch, my work-rate, my headers, all that sort of stuff."

Hirst concluded: “Goals is part of the bigger picture – I’m never going to sit here and say they don’t matter because any striker who told you that would be lying – and I’d love to be sat here on a few more but at the end of the day we’re sat here second in the league and we’re playing really good football.

“If we just keep doing that then I’ll finish on as many as I finish on.”