Michael Duffy the latest ex Candy Stripe to get the nod for N. Ireland
Michael Duffy is hoping to follow in the footsteps of former Derry City players such as Paddy McCourt, Danny Lafferty and Niall McGinn as he's poised to make his senior international debut for Northern Ireland in the coming days.
The Galliagh man hasn’t been given any indication whether he will play a part in tonight’s World Cup qualifier match against the Group C surprise packages, Azerbaijin who are currently in second placed behind leaders Germany.
He reckons he’s more likely to feature in Tuesday’s friendly against Croatia who have named Real Madrid’s Luca Modric in their squad.
Either way he’s delighted to be involved in the senior international set-up after being drafted in along with Ross County’s Liam Boyce for the double header.
“He (O’Neill) hasn’t said much to me yet about the game but I understand it’s a big World Cup qualifier - it’s a big game - and one we need to win, so it will be a tough team to get into,” said Duffy.
“Tuesday’s game is a friendly so I’m hoping he gives a few boys a chance. Hopefully I can get my first cap and a even a few minutes under my belt - that would be brilliant.
“The home games are important and we’ll need a good performance against Azerbaijan.
“The team go into this game with confidence given the way they’ve been playing over the past two years or so. So we’ll be looking to go and win the game.”
The former Derry City winger joins ex-Candy Stripe, McGinn and Eglinton’s Shane Ferguson in the N. Ireland panel and he’s happy to continue the tradition of North West players making the step up to international football.
“All the boys have been welcoming since I joined up with the squad. I know some of them from playing against them in the league so it’s easy enough to bed in.
“I’m hoping to do well in training and hopefully he (O’Neill) will give me a chance on Tuesday to show what I can do and hopefully I can stay in the squad from there.
“It’s great to see Derry boys doing well and shows you how well people from back home are doing, getting moves across the water and making it to international level.
“I just hope I can stay in and around the squad now I have my chance.”