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Dublin: 16 °C Wednesday 17 July, 2019
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Groom-to-be Pilkington aiming to make it third time lucky at Wembley

The Norwich City winger could be handed his senior Ireland debut against the country of his birth on May 29.

Pilkington lining out for Norwich this season.
Pilkington lining out for Norwich this season.
Image: Dave Howarth/PA Archive/Press Association Images

NORWICH CITY MAY have secured their Premier League status over the weekend but Anthony Pilkington could still have two massive days ahead in the coming weeks.

The 24-year-old winger, who featured in the Canaries’ 4-0 win over West Brom on Sunday, has been named in Giovanni Trapattoni’s provisional squad for upcoming matches with England, Georgia, the Faroe Islands and Spain.

It isn’t the first time Pilkington has received a call-up. In January, the former U21 international was named on the panel to face Poland but was forced to pull out with an injury.

Then, when he was again invited to link up with the team ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria in March, a hamstring strain robbed him of his chance to don the green jersey.

Ireland meet England on May 29 meaning Blackburn-born Pilkington, who qualifies through his paternal grandmother, could potentially make his debut against the country of his birth.

Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press last week, he expresses his excitement at the prospect of lining out at Wembley.

It would be massive,” the former Stockport County and Huddersfield player said. “To play at Wembley is massive for any footballer – it’s one of the best stadiums to play at, in front of the English fans in England v Ireland would be great.”

There remains some uncertainty around his involvement, however. As well as carrying a knock to his knee, Pilkington is due to marry fiancée Joleen Grisman two days later on June 1.

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Ben Blake

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