Preston skipper Alan Browne targets second Wembley appearance as England meet Republic of Ireland
Preston North End skipper Alan Browne will be hoping to play at Wembley on Thursday for the second time in his career.
The midfielder is in the Republic of Ireland squad for the friendly with England, a game which precedes two Nations League fixtures for both countries.
Browne played in PNE’s League One play-off final victory over Swindon Town at Wembley in May 2015.
He was a substitute that glorious day, coming on in the 37th minute for the injured Paul Gallagher.
A lot has happened for Browne, 25, in the five years since the play-off final.
That was his 41st game in a Preston shirt and he has now worn it 263 times.
Browne has 10 senior Irish caps to his name and should add to that collection during the international break.
This season he had worn the skipper’s armband at PNE for all the Championship games, Alex Neil confirming him as his club captain.
On the international stage, Browne has established a stronger footing of late.
He has been selected in the Ireland squad on a consistent basis in the past 15 months.
In the October fixtures, Browne put in a strong display after coming on as a sub in the European Championship qualifier play-off semi-final against Slovakia.
He hit the post, went close to scoring a couple of other times but was one of two players to miss a penalty in the shoot-out which sent Slovakia through.
Browne was joined in the Irish squad by PNE team-mate Sean Maguire on Wednesday.
After Brighton’s Aaron Connolly suffered a hamstring injury in training, Maguire got summoned to replace him.
Maguire travelled to London yesterday morning to meet up with the squad.
The 26-year-old is getting used to being Ireland’s standby man. During the October international break, Maguire got a call-up in the wake of the Slovakia game.
He went on to feature in the Nations League games with Wales and Finland, and like Browne, has 10 international caps.
Maguire and Browne’s former Preston colleague Daryl Horgan is with them in the squad, however Callum Robinson had to pull out after returning a positive Covid-19 test on Tuesday night.
The West Bromwich Albion player was deemed to have no close contacts within the squad, hence no one is having to self-isolate.
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