After getting his chance at club level, Clarets defender Kevin Long is hoping to kick on for his country.
The 26-year-old, who started Burnley’s last three games in the Premier League, was drafted in to Martin O’Neill’s 38-man Republic of Ireland squad for the forthcoming games against Mexico, Uruguay and Austria.
Long, who earned his first call up, was among a quartet of Clarets to be called up for the fixtures alongside Stephen Ward, Jeff Hendrick and record signing Robbie Brady.
The Boys in Green, who play the Mexicans at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in the early hours of Friday morning, entertain Uruguay in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Sunday and then take on Group D rivals Austria in a World Cup qualifier, at the same venue in Dublin, on June 11th.
“I was happy to get some game time and obviously the call up to my country is massive for me,” he said. “I’m delighted with that. It means everything. I think every young lad wants to play for his country.
“It’s what I’ve been training for. I’ve been working hard for these opportunities and thankfully they’re starting to come along.
“These are the games you want to be involved in, it’s why you want to play football, you want to be at the highest level. They’re big games so it’s good. Hopefully things will work out.
“It’s international football so you’re going to be playing against the best players in the world. I’m ready to train with the lads and start pushing on.”
Long added: “It would be massive (to play). I think every lads’ dream is to represent their country. If I get that opportunity I’ll be over the moon.
“I’m in the squad now so I’ve just got to work hard in training and hopefully the manager likes what he sees then I can get some game time.
“It would be amazing (to feature in the World Cup). Wardy’s been involved in two European Championships, Jeff and Robbie were involved in the last one.
“They’ve spoken about how massive it is, the atmosphere. It’s been great for their careers so it’ll be brilliant. The way the lads speak about it is brilliant.”