Vital Ipswich looks back on a busy start to September for Ipswich Town’s international stars.
After an eventful August for Ipswich Town, September has begun with an international break, but there has been no rest for those Blues who have been called up by their countries. Here’s our review of all the action over the past fortnight.
Ipswich had eight players away on international duty this month for a mixture of qualifying and friendly matches. David Stockdale was called up for England’s Euro 2012 qualifiers, whilst Keith Andrews and Damien Delaney were in the Republic of Ireland’s Euro qualifying squad. Josh Carson and Cormac Burke were named in Northern Ireland’s squads at U21 and U19 level respectively, while Tamas Priskin was called up by Hungary. Meanwhile Jaime Peters met up with the Canada side and Carlos Edwards made his return to the Trinidad & Tobago team for World Cup 2014 qualifiers.
Having previously been called up for August’s postponed friendly against the Netherlands, David Stockdale was again included in Fabio Capello’s England squad ahead of their Euro qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales. With West Ham United’s Robert Green forced to pull out with injury, Stockdale was named on the bench for both matches. However, the on-loan Fulham keeper is still waiting for his first England cap after he was left to watch Joe Hart keep two clean sheets as Capello’s side won 3-0 in Sofia on Friday before edging to a 1-0 victory over the Welsh on Tuesday, putting them 6pts clear at the top of Qualifying Group G. Included on the Wales bench at Wembley was defender Danny Collins, who continues to be linked with a move to Town.
There was to be no action for Damien Delaney either, the Town defender having been drafted in as injury cover for the Republic of Ireland defence only to be left out of their matchday squads. However, it was a much more eventful fortnight for Keith Andrews, who played the full 90 minutes in Ireland’s home qualifier against Slovakia on Friday. Despite having a difficult night in what ended up being a goalless draw, the on-loan Blackburn Rovers midfielder set up Damien Duff for one of the best chances of the game in the first half and might have broken the deadlock himself in the second, only for former Town target Simon Cox to strike wide when he should have spotted Andrews in a prime scoring position. The 30-year-old then won his 22nd cap with another full 90 minutes against Russia on Tuesday, helping his side keep a clean sheet for another 0-0 draw in Moscow which keeps them 2nd in Group B.
Meanwhile for Northern Ireland, Josh Carson began the international break in the U21 squad, playing the full 90 minutes as they lost 1-0 in their Euro 2013 qualifier against Serbia on Friday. Having put in an impressive personal performance in that match however, the 18-year-old was then promoted to the senior squad for Tuesday’s Euro 2012 qualifier in Estonia, though he may be grateful not to have featured in the end as Nigel Worthington’s side fell to a 4-1 defeat.
Results were similarly disappointing for Carson’s compatriot Cormac Burke. The academy midfielder, who signed his first professional contract with Ipswich in July, was called up to the Northern Ireland U19 squad for their friendly double header against Switzerland. However, having been held to a goalless draw in the first game on Saturday, they then slipped to a 2-0 defeat in Ballymoney on Monday.
Also in Europe, Tamas Priskin was in action for Hungary as they sought to keep their Euro 2012 qualification hopes alive. He played his part too; with the score at 1-1 in Hungary’s crunch clash with Group E rivals Sweden in Budapest, Priskin joined the action as an 80th minute substitute and provided the pass for Gergely Rudolf to net a 90th minute winner for the hosts. Despite that impact however, the Town striker was left out altogether in his country’s next match as they claimed a 2-0 away win against Moldova, leaving Hungary in 3rd level on points with 2nd-placed Sweden.
Elsewhere in the world, it was to be a quiet week for Jaime Peters. The Canadian, who has been somewhat frozen out of the Town team of late, found playing opportunities similarly difficult to come by for his country as they romped to a 4-1 victory over St Lucia before winning 3-0 away to Puerto Rico to get their World Cup 2014 qualification campaign off to the perfect start.
However, there was to be World Cup qualifier action for Carlos Edwards, who was making his return to international football for Trinidad & Tobago for the first time in two and a half years. The 32-year-old made the most of his call-up, winning his 79th and 80th caps and playing the full 90 minutes of both matches as the Soca Warriors beat Bermuda 1-0 on Friday before sealing a 2-0 victory over Barbados on Tuesday. Following those appearances, Edwards subsequently becomes the 5th most-capped player in the history of the Trinidad national team.
It has been something of a mixed bag then for Ipswich’s international players this month. However, Town boss Paul Jewell will be hoping that they all come back fit as he looks to name his squad for the trip to Blackpool when the Championship resumes on Saturday.
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