Date:Saturday February 18 2006
Good news for two of City's rising stars with call-ups for Stephen Ireland and Georgios Samaras into their respective full national squads.
Ireland has obviously caught the eye of new Republic of Ireland boss, Steve Staunton and will join fellow Blue, Richard Dunne in the squad to face Sweden in a friendly on 1st March.
The 19 year old midfielder has made a successful transition from the reserves into the first team this season and he has turned in a number of confident and classy performances.
Recent acquisition, Samaras, has been a regular in the Greek U21s and his performance and bullet of a headed goal against Charlton on Sunday has also not gone un-noticed. He is rewarded with his first call up to the full Greek squad for their game against Bulgaria on 28th February.
Although this is great news for Ireland and Samaras, it will also be an anxious time for Stuart Pearce given City's long and growing injury list and if selected to play, we can only hope that both return for Premiership duty unscathed.
With one of the best crop of youngsters in recent memory, who will be next for full international recognition? Can Joey Barton force his way into this Summer's World Cup squad or is the midfield already sewn up for the next few years with the likes of Cole, Gerrard and Lampard all looking like immovable objects. Perhaps Nedum Onuoha will beat Joey to that first full international cap at right back in place of a certain Mr Neville – we can only pray it happens sooner than later !
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