‘I’d like my son to play for Ireland’ - Keane

IPSWICH TOWN: Blues skipper David Norris has confirmed that he would be delighted to play for the Republic of Ireland if given the opportunity.

And his manager Roy Keane has confirmed that it would be a deserved reward for the 29-year-old.

Taking a break from preparing for this afternoon’s npower Championship match against Bristol City at Portman Road (kick-off 3pm), Norris, who was born in Stamford but qualifies for Ireland through his mother, said:

“If anything happens on the international front it would be a bonus.

“Ireland have got some good players and it’s not something I’m thinking about.

“When Steve Staunton was the manager he contacted me and asked about my availability.

“Obviously I was born in England but my mum is Irish. They all love football so if the offer was there I certainly wouldn’t turn it down.”

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Norris is leading scorer with four goals and he appears to be reveling in the responsibility that captaincy brings.

And Keane has given the midfielder the thumbs up to play for his native country.

“Chuck (Norris) would play for the right reasons, and if he carries on playing as he is at the moment I’m sure he’ll get his rewards.

“But I’ve seen players for whom it has been more of a career decision. They are happy to jump onboard.

“But do they have the same passion as someone brought up in that country?

“Will they sing the national anthem before matches?

“My son was born in England, but I would pray that he would play for Ireland if it came to that. But it would be up to him.”

While Keane is delighted with Norris’ form he is concerned about the fact that he has already received four bookings.

One more and he will have to serve a one-match ban – and 10 before next March and it will be a further two days.

“I don’t think we’ll be fining David as his bookings have not been for silly things like dissent. He has seen yellow through his desire to do well.

“But he needs to be careful as we want him around and in the team.”

While Norris waits for any potential international call-up, a number of Town players will be in action next week.

Tamas Priskin and Marton Fulop are in the Hungarian party for European Championship qualifying games against Sweden away next Friday and at home to Moldovia on September 7.

Midfielder-turned-full-back Jaime Peters has been named in the Canada squad for friendlies against Peru in Toronto on September 4 and Honduras in Montreal three days later.

Peters, 23, has previously won 22 full caps and has scored one international goal.

Town central defender Gareth McAuley has been named in the Northern Ireland squad for their Euro 2012 qualifier in Slovenia next Friday.

Meanwhile, former Town keeper Richard Wright, 32, has been linked with Premier League Blackpool. Wright, released by the Blues in May, has been training with Crystal Palace since the start of pre-season.

Today’s likely squads

Ipswich Town: Fulop, Peters, McAuley, Smith, O’Dea, Hyam, Edwards, Leadbitter, Norris, O’Connor, Priskin, Murphy, Brown, Healy, Scotland, Murray, Eastman, Hourihane.

Bristol City: James, Hunt, Carey, Stewart, Fontaine, McAllister, Elliott, Johnson, Cisse, Skuse, Sproule, Adomah, Campbell-Ryce, Clarkson, Stead, Pitman, T Williams, G Williams, Akinde, Gerken.

Referee: Mr M P Russell (Hertfordshire)

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