Bruce joins in dad's promotion party

IPSWICH Town defender Alex Bruce is currently mixed up in festivities to celebrate promotion to the Premiership.And he is pig sick about it.The 22-year-old, who has been called up for the first time by the Republic of Ireland for two friendlies in the USA later this month, is spending a few days in Portugal with father Steve and the Birmingham coaching staff.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town defender Alex Bruce is currently mixed up in festivities to celebrate promotion to the Premiership.

And he is pig sick about it.

The 22-year-old, who has been called up for the first time by the Republic of Ireland for two friendlies in the USA later this month, is spending a few days in Portugal with father Steve and the Birmingham coaching staff.


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“Good luck to them,” said Bruce. “They deserve to party, but it has made me envious and pig sick that I am not celebrating an Ipswich promotion.

“This experience, and the atmosphere created at Portman Road on Sunday when we were playing for at best 13th place against Cardiff City, makes me doubly determined to help bring success to Ipswich Town.”

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Steve Bruce is manager of Birmingham City, who have won automatic promotion from the Championship as runners-up to Sunderland.

And it was from the St Andrews-based club that Bruce junior joined Ipswich on a free transfer last summer.

“I have always had faith in my own ability, but moving to Ipswich and having the opportunity to play regular first team football has boosted my international dreams,” added Bruce.

“I must thank Jim Magilton for that.

“I am thrilled to bits to get my first full international call-up, and it was the gaffer who rang to tell me the good news on Tuesday.

“It has set the seal on a good few weeks, and my main target next season will be to do all I can to lift Ipswich into the Premiership.”

Ireland take on Ecuador in the Giants Stadium, New York on Wednesday, May 23 and Bolivia three days later at the Gillette Stadium, Boston, home of the New England Revolution where former Blue Paul Mariner is assistant coach.

Bruce, who has previously won caps at Under-21 level, qualifies to play for Ireland via his Tyrone-born grandmother.

“I am returning to England on Monday and meeting up with the Irish party next Thursday,” added Bruce.

“The gaffer has said I can have a couple of weeks off in early June so that I can chill for a while before getting down to pre-season training in earnest.”

Magilton is delighted Bruce has earned international recognition saying: “Alex has been improving every game and showed increased composure. This is just reward.”

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