Reilly aiming to attract Trap’s attention

Callum Reilly is pictured on his U21 international debut against Holland last February. A senior call-up may well beckon in the not too distant future. By Larry Cooney

Birmingham City’s highly rated Irish teenage midfielder Callum Reilly, who recently extended his deal by two years, is hoping his club form in Blues promotion push will also propel him to a senior international call-up for the Republic. Although he failed to see any action in the opening day defeat to Watford, the Warrington born player still has five games in August to impress ahead of the Republic’s crucial World Cup qualification run-in beginning with a home game against Sweden before a difficult trip to Vienna on September.

“I’m definitely looking forward to the new season and we have got to pick up were we left off last year and keep pushing on,” said Callum whose parents both have strong Irish backgrounds. He grew up in Solihull and signed for City’s under age academy at the age of seven.

Having made his professional senior debut in January 2012, Callum Reilly then signed his first professional contract twelve months ago and gradually played his way into the first team under the then new manager Lee Clark ironically as a result of Keith Fahey’s ongoing injury problems. Reilly’s displays came to the attention of Ireland U21 boss Noel King who handed him his international debut last February against Holland in a 3-0 victory in Tallaght Stadium.

“He decided to put me into the team which was great. It just kicked off from there. It was a bit of a whirlwind and it was a bit mad but I’m happy and delighted how everything has worked out,” said Callum who added: “We’ve got the Faroe Isles coming up in a few weeks and then in September we’ve Germnay so there are some big games coming up and hopefully we’ll push on and have a good start in the campaign.”

Fully committed to green shirt

Being dual qualified Callum Reilly insists he did not have to think twice before declaring to play for Ireland.

“My decision was made pretty quickly with Ireland. I’ve got a lot of family who are Irish and they are delighted for me to be involved wearing the green shirt of Ireland,” said Callum and he added: “I spoke to Noel King myself and I was just delighted with the passion he’s got for it and what he wants to do. First he wants to do the best we can in the campaign this season and then he wants to push on for an Plympic squad for Brazil.”

Callum added: “He’s passionate and his motivation to get his team to go as far as it can go really convinced me.”

Meanwhile Callum Reilly will also be hoping to improve his own game at club level especially his eye for goal. He has admitted that his manager would like him to improve his goal scoring ability and ‘mix things up a little’.

“The main aim is to try and score a few more goals, get forward and try to make some more impact on the other end of the pitch. I think it’s definitely in my game and it’s what I want to do,” concluded Callum which is all good news for Ireland supporters and senior manager Giovanni Trappatoni who is sure to monitor the Birmingham star midfielder’s progress with interest in the coming months.

 

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Callum Reilly is pictured on his U21 international debut against Holland last February. A senior call-up may well beckon in the not too distant future.