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Republic of Ireland should come calling for red-hot David McGoldrick, so says Ipswich Town team-mate Stephen Hunt

PUBLISHED: 06:10 03 February 2014

David McGoldrick celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Bolton on Saturday

David McGoldrick celebrates scoring from the penalty spot against Bolton on Saturday

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The Republic of Ireland should come calling for red-hot Ipswich Town striker David McGoldrick.

So says Stephen Hunt – capped 39 times by Ireland himself – after it emerged that Nottingham-born McGoldrick is eligible to play for the Emerald Isle.

McGoldrick revealed to The Irish Sun over the weekend that he has Irish grandparents, the adopted 26-year-old having contacted his birth mother a few years ago to trace his family tree.

He admitted he’d jump at the chance to play international football and that could very well happen after the front man took his goal tally for the season to 15 by scoring the second-half penalty which secured a 1-0 home win over Bolton on Saturday.

That’s already more than the amount scored by Ipswich’s top goalscorer in the previous six seasons, the ex-Southampton and Nottingham Forest man on course to become the first Blues player to net 20 goals in a campaign since Shekfi Kuqi in 2004/05.

“David has been banging them in,” enthused Hunt. “He is definitely something different to what Ireland have right now.

“We have strikers who are good at holding the ball up and he has all that plus he is good at coming into the spaces and scores goals.

“He would do really well for us and I would love to see him in the Ireland squad.

“Having known him for three months or so now I know he has the right attitude and the commitment to play for Ireland.”

Ireland’s new management duo of Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane have been keeping close tabs on the progress of several Ipswich players; Hunt and Daryl Murphy pushing for recalls to the international scene following lengthy absences, while Kettering-born Luke Chambers has also put himself forward for selection (eligible due to his grandfather being Irish).

McGoldrick, speaking to The Irish Sun, said: “I knew there was an Irish link to the McGoldricks, but I had been adopted so I didn’t think that counted. I was only 17 when I was first asked and I didn’t know my background so I didn’t think I would be able to play for Ireland.

“My adoptive mum treated me as if she was my real mum so I didn’t need another mother. But it was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to find out where I came from and I got in contact with my birth mum a few years ago and it went alright.

“She mentioned that her dad was Irish. His surname was Howley and my birth mum’s name was Karen. She died a couple of years ago which is sad but I had gotten this interest to play for Ireland.

“I would like to follow it through. I haven’t been in contact with anyone from the FAI. I just want to get the paperwork done – it is up to me to prove the link and then make myself available for selection.

“My club football is the most important thing but I would love to play for Ireland. With Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane there, as well as a lot of good players, it would be great to be a part of that.”

Ipswich Town skipper Luke Chambers has hit back at Nelson Oliveira’s claim that Norwich City are a ‘better club’ with ‘better players’ by calling the City striker ‘not very well educated’.

The fit-and-firing David McGoldrick is the Ipswich Town player that Norwich City fans would most like to have in the Canary ranks in Sunday’s East Anglian derby.

Former Ipswich Town star Marcus Stewart says players have to put themselves “in the shoes of the fans” on derby day.

Just 13 players have represented both Norwich City and Ipswich Town since 1980 – but can you remember which club those players represented more?

Ipswich Town legend George Burley believes the Blues have their best chance of winning an East Anglian derby in years at Portman Road this Sunday lunchtime (12pm ko).

Daniel Farke may be new to East Anglian rivalries but the Norwich City boss warns Ipswich Town face a titanic struggle to break the derby spell.

Every derby is about passion, loyalty and tribal pride. We get it. Ipswich Town v Norwich City is no different. But who do you have a sneaking regard for in the Canaries’ line up?

Police have issued descriptions of men they would like to speak to after a pair of break-ins at Ipswich Town Football Club in Portman Road last week resulted in expensive wine being drunk, a food fight breaking out and TVs being stolen.

Ipswich Town defender Jonas Knudsen insists he’ll be playing for the fans in Sunday lunchtime’s East Anglian derby against Norwich City at Portman Road (12pm ko).

Ahead of Sunday’s big game, Eastern Daily Press sports reporter DAVID FREEZER brings Town fans up to date with the many changes which have happened across the border at arch rivals Norwich City since last season.

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