Jon comes in from the cold

JON Walters has finally been invited back in from the cold by the Republic of Ireland.The Blues striker has been selected for a B friendly against Scotland at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium on November 20, almost three years after being frozen out by the Irish.

By Derek Davis

JON Walters has finally been invited back in from the cold by the Republic of Ireland.

The Blues striker has been selected for a B friendly against Scotland at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium on November 20, almost three years after being frozen out by the Irish.

Walters scored both goals in the Under-21s' 2-0 win over Switzerland in 2004 but then fell out with Under 21s boss Don Given over a misunderstanding about his whereabouts.

The player went on holiday with his now wife and even though he trained every day his fitness and commitment were questioned and he has not been called up again - until now.

Although born in Birkenhead, Walters qualifies for the Republic through his Dublin-born mother and recently told the EADT how he wanted to return to the international fold. Walters said: “I would love the chance to play for Ireland again. It has been a long while but all I can do is work hard and play well for Ipswich and see what happens.”

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The 24-year-old has now been handed this chance by Pat Devlin who insists he can use this as a stepping-stone to being a full international.

Devlin said: “This upcoming B international friendly against Scotland is a considerable opportunity for every member of this 18-man squad. “From our first 'B' international last November, there are eight players who featured that night who received full senior international caps in both Euro 2008 qualification and international friendlies.”

Among those is Blues defender Alex Bruce, who has been given the green light by FIFA to carry on playing for the Republic after protests from Northern Ireland, and has also been selected to play against the Scots.

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