Judge Could Win Cap as Ireland Face Gibraltar
Saturday, 23rd Mar 2019 10:00
Blues midfielder Alan Judge could win his sixth Republic of Ireland cap this evening when Mick McCarthy’s side face Gibraltar away in their opening European Championships qualifier (Sky Sports Main Event/Football from 4.55pm).
Judge, 30, was most recently capped in June last year when he scored his only international goal having come on as a sub in a friendly against the US, his games with Ireland having been limited by the serious injury he suffered at Town in April 2016.
"I wasn't originally in the squad, I scored and thought, 'That'll do me'," he recalled earlier this week.
"I thought if that was me finished with Ireland, that was a good way to end it. It was only a friendly but it was like being to hell and back.
"Everything I'd worked so hard for, to score for Ireland...I only had five caps, I felt I would've had a hell of a lot more.
"So it was just relief. My family was there, it meant everything. They were more happy for me than I was! When I went up to the room after, dad was in bits, my ma was in bits.”
He added: "I'm only 30. After two years out, I feel like I'm 28, that I'm in my prime now. It's just enjoying every minute of it. I know I've maybe missed my chance to go to the Premier League, but it's about taking every minute you can on the pitch.”
Judge is contracted to the Blues until the summer but with the short-term deal he signed in January including an option for a further year and discussions regarding a longer stay currently ongoing.
The former Brentford man says he isn't fazed by the prospect of remaining with a club almost certainly destined for League One.
"I’m extremely happy there," he continued. "Mick told me I would when I first spoke to him about going there. I’ve had enough time not playing.
"If I have to have a year in League One, get up straight away, I’ll look at that."
Ireland, whose squad also includes ex-Blues striker David McGoldrick, host Georgia in their second qualifier at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, academy right-back Dylan Crowe, 17, won his third England U18 cap as the Young Lions were beaten 1-0 by the Czech Republic at the Sport Chain Cup in Dubai yesterday afternoon.
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