PNE striker Callum Robinson's Republic of Ireland boost
Callum Robinson says Preston team-mates Alan Browne and Sean Maguire have proved an inspiration in his aim to play for the Republic of Ireland.
Robinson played for the Irish in last Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Celtic, coming on as a 61st-minute substitute.
While the testimonial for Celtic midfielder Scott Brown was not an international, it was a big step forward for PNE frontman Robinson in terms of future representation.
When his paperwork does come through which enables him to play full international fixtures, the 23-year-old will join a large Irish contingent at Deepdale.
Robinson admits he has seen the others return from international duty in the past with a spring in their step.
“Sean Maguire and Alan Browne in particular have come back bouncing,” said Robinson who was capped to Under-20s level by England.
“Browney has really upped his game this season and got the player of the year award, which he deserved.
“Maybe the Ireland trips, seeing how the senior players work, is something they have brought back to Preston.
“There are a few Irish lads at Preston and hopefully I can keep it coming.”
Robinson is familiar with the work of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill and his No.2 Roy Keane from his younger days at Aston Villa.
“Martin was Villa manager when I was a kid in the Under-13s and 14s,” said Robinson.
“I was there when Roy Keane came in as assistant manager to Paul Lambert – I did a pre-season with Roy.
“Soon after that I came on loan to Preston for the first time and scored a few goals.
“When I got called back to Villa I scored a hat-trick in my first training session and Roy actually mentioned that the other day. He has been at a few of Preston’s games this season so has seen me play.
“When I joined up last week, Martin O’Neill had a quick chat with me.
“It was just a case of saying welcome and telling me to be positive, to try and take my chance.
“Hopefully I’ve shown glimpses of what I can do and I’ll have to wait and see what the manager decides in the future.
“With the paperwork it’s a waiting game.
“We have got more stuff over the line but we’re just waiting on one or two more things.”
After his few days with the Irish squad, Robinson now has a few weeks’ holiday ahead of pre-season training starting at the end of June.
He is confident that next season, PNE can build on their seventh-place finish.
Said Robinson: “If we can keep hold of our players and add to the squad, it will be a good situation.”