KEITH TURNER William Hondermarck on the attack for Barnsley during their recent Championship game against Blackburn Rovers.
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First Irish call-up 'the icing on the cake' for French-born midfielder Hondermarck
The 20-year-old has made a good impression recently while playing in the Championship for Barnsley.

WILLIAM HONDERMARCK HAS expressed his delight at finally playing his way into contention to wear the green jersey on the international stage.

Hondermarck, who hasn’t represented Ireland at any level previously, was yesterday drafted into Jim Crawford’s U21 squad following the withdrawal of Ryan Johansson.

It’s a reward for the 20-year-old midfielder, who has now accumulated five first-team appearances for Barnsley in the Championship. 

After he was released by Norwich City in the summer, Hondermarck was signed by Barnsley as a free agent with a view to playing for their U23 side. However, he was immediately catapulted in for a senior debut in a 1-1 draw with Stoke City.

“It’s the icing on the cake,” he said of his U21 call-up, as reported by the Barnsley Chronicle. “I didn’t expect it. I was focused on Barnsley, then I got told I had been called up. It’s a bonus for all my efforts so far. They should be very good games so I am looking forward to it.”

Hondermarck was born in the French city of Orléans, before moving to Dublin with his family at the age of five. He was signed by Norwich after impressing the Canaries with his displays as a 17-year-old for Drogheda United in the FAI Cup and SSE Airtricity First Division. 

He added: “We speak French at home but I grew up in Ireland so I have a very strong attachment to both.

“I have always been open to both and when Ireland came in I was more than happy to represent them. A senior call-up to Ireland is a long way down the line but it’s what I work for every day.” 

The Ireland U21s will resume their European Championship qualifying campaign against Italy at Tallaght Stadium on Friday, before hosting Sweden at the same venue next Tuesday.

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