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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 12 December, 2018
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Towell 'a little bit closer' to Ireland cap after being named in back-to-back provisional squads

Richie Towell made the last two provisional panels and has ambitions to make it all the way into Martin O’Neill’s final squad.

The 27-year-old in action for Rotherham United against Shrewsbury Town last season,
The 27-year-old in action for Rotherham United against Shrewsbury Town last season,
Image: EMPICS Sport

AFTER BEING NAMED in two successive provisional panels in the second half of this year, Rotherham United midfielder Richie Towell has ambitions to make it all the way into Martin O’Neill’s final Ireland squad next year.

It has been a long journey through the depths of English, Scottish, League of Ireland and Leinster Senior League football for the Dubliner over the course of the last decade.

Towell began his career at Crumlin United before sealing a dream move to Celtic in 2007 at the age of 15, where he spent five years on the books at Parkhead in-between a loan spell with Hibernian.

He returned to Ireland at the end of 2012 and quickly re-ignited his career under the watch of Stephen Kenny at Dundalk, winning two SSE Airtricity League titles, an FAI Cup and being named PFAI Young Player of the Year.

Towell scored an impressive 25 league goals during the 2015 Premier Division campaign and was suitably snapped by up Brighton, where he remains on the clubs books despite a significant amount of first-team football.

Rotherham United v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship - AESSEAL New York Stadium Towell battles for the ball with Stoke City's Saido Berahino. Source: Richard Sellers

The 27-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at Rotherham and helped the Millers secure promotion to the Championship last year, making 39 appearances as an integral member of the side from attacking midfield.

Currently enjoying his second spell move at New York Stadium, the player admitted that he still maintains ambitions of making a senior international appearance for Ireland following an impressive calendar year in South Yorkshire during 2018.

“It was a great honour to be named in the provisional squad,” Towell said this week on being named in Martin O’Neill’s initial squad to face Denmark and Wales for the very first time.

“I feel like I am getting a little bit closer, that’s two provisional squads I have been named in now. The next step for me is not just to get into the final squad — as a player you always want to represent your country, and that is my aim.

“Obviously before this season I hadn’t been named in any senior squads, so to be named has been great but whilst I am proud there is still some work to do, I need to keep concentrating, working hard and hopefully my time will come.

Richie Towell with the cup Towell scored 25 goals from midfield as Dundalk secured the double in 2015. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

“If I am playing well for Rotherham, then the two will link in with each other. I am keeping my feet on the ground, I know the standards and I am determined to keep meeting those standards for Rotherham.”

Towell became a fan favourite under Paul Warne during his first season at the club last year and bagged two crucial assists during Rotherham’s League One play-off semi-final against Scunthorpe.

He would also play all 120 minutes at Wembley in May, as his side overcame Shrewsbury Town after extra-time in their play-off final at England’s national arena. He admitted that becoming an Ireland international would be a dream come true for him and his family in Dublin.

Rotherham United v Shrewsbury Town - Sky Bet League One - AESSEAL New York Stadium The 27-year-old made 39 appearances for Rotherham last season in League One. Source: Clint Hughes

“It will be great if I can make the jump, not just for me but for all my family. They, and my friends, were over the moon that I managed to get into the provisional squad.

“I’ve had a lot of messages of support which is great, and that will spur me on to keep going and make that break into the full squad.

“To represent my country would be a dream come true and a real honour. My focus now is with Rotherham, I want to keep playing to the best of my ability and we’ll see where that takes me.”

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About the author:

Aaron Gallagher

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