Trap's door ajar for Jon

JON Walters playing for his country? It could happen, and in the near future..

Carl Marston

JON Walters playing for his country? It could happen, and in the near future.

Walters has been one of Ipswich Town's most consistent performers this season. The fully-committed skipper leads by example, and that might just be enough to force him into the plans of Republic of Ireland boss, Giovanni Trapattoni.

There have been stirrings, across the Irish Sea, that Walters is close to being selected for the Republic of Ireland squad. His international experiences to date have been restricted to one appearance each for the Under-21s and “B” team.

Fellow Irishman Roy Keane is certainly a big fan of Walters. The 26-year-old is probably the first name on Town boss Keane's team-sheet every week.

In fact, he has only missed one game this season, due to suspension, and that absence coincided with Town's only defeat in 14 games - at Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

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A few weeks ago, Keane admitted in one of his weekly press conferences that he didn't think any of his Irish players were playing well enough to break into the Republic of Ireland squad. This contingent includes Walters, Damien Delaney, Alex Bruce, Owen Garvan and Colin Healy.

But Walters has been in good form since then, and would certainly not let his country down.

Trapattoni is on the look-out for new blood, following his country's exit from the World Cup at the play-off stage to France.

And he could do worse than call on the services of Walters, who is Town's joint leading scorer with six goals and has operated to good effect both as a front-man and wide-midfielder.

Republic of Ireland's next game is a friendly against Brazil in March, which would not be a bad game in which to make your senior international debut!

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