Preston North End striker Emil Riis talks international call-ups in his EXCLUSIVE column

My flight bag was packed and I was on my way back to England on Sunday to prepare for training on Monday morning, in readiness for our Championship clash with Cardiff City at Deepdale on Saturday.

By Emil Riis
Thursday, 18th November 2021, 4:45 pm

With Preston without a game last weekend due to the international break, I took the opportunity to return back home to Denmark to spend some time with friends and family.

But as I prepared to fly back into Manchester, I received a phone call to inform me that I had been called up by my country.

Denmark were due to face Scotland at Hampden Park for a World Cup qualifier on Monday evening.

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In action for Preston in our last game against Nottingham Forest

So instead of making my way to Preston, I caught a train up to Scotland to join the Danish squad.

I guess it was a little bit strange to be called up by my country while being back home but then having to catch a flight back to England.

But it was no problem as I was just about to board the plane when I got the call, it just meant a few logistical changes were required for when I landed back in the UK.

It was all a bit of a whirlwind. I did not actually get the chance to train with my Danish team-mates although I did touch the ball a few times in the warm-up.

Denmark have already qualified for the World Cup in Qatar so losing 2-0 to Scotland was immaterial, although obviously we would have liked to have won.

I was on the bench for the game and I didn’t get on. It would have been nice to have made my international debut but it does feel like a pat on the back for how well I have performed for Preston this season.

Hopefully, I will get more opportunities with Denmark in the future.

I had spoken to the Danish management team previously and they had told me that I was in their thoughts.

When you score goals like I have done this season for PNE, there is always a good chance you could get close to a call-up.

I am really happy that they called me up and I want to help in the best way that I can.

Obviously it was a great experience.

I was part of the team meetings in terms of how we wanted to play in the game against Scotland.

It was just nice to meet everyone and see how things are set up.

It was a little bit surreal to be part of the squad and meet up with players who are big stars in Denmark and who I had only ever seen on TV.

It was so nice to meet them all and they were all so kind to me and made me feel part of the group.

I guess it just shows how far I have come since arriving at Preston.

It’s gone really quick and hopefully I can continue with my form.

I just need to keep working hard, doing my thing and hopefully I will get another call -up.

To get called up for the World Cup, in Qatar, next year would be a dream for me.

It’s definitely a goal I 
want to work towards but I think I have got a few more steps to go through to get there.

I just have to keep scoring goals for Preston, playing minutes and showing people what I can do.