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HONDERMARCK ON HIS CALL-UP

9 November 2021

Prior to joining up with Jim Crawford’s Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad, we caught up with Will Hondermarck.

In what has truly been a breakthrough season, the midfielder continues to go from strength to strength and, following five appearances in the Sky Bet Championship, he now departs on international duty for the first time in his career.

The 20-year-old looks set to face Italy at Tallaght Stadium on Friday, 12 November, before hosting Sweden four days later on Tuesday, 16 November. 

Speaking about his call-up, Hondermarck said: “I must admit, I had planned to visit family back in Ireland during this break as I didn’t expect to be called up, but on Monday, that all changed. Bobby (Hassell) told me the news and then obviously things had to develop quickly.

“I am totally focused on Barnsley and the first team, although it’s a real honour to be called up to international level. It’s a bonus for all my efforts so far. The two fixtures are against strong nations, so they should be very good games and I am looking forward to it.”

Born in France to French parents, Hondermarck is eligible to play for Les Bleus, but having moved to Dublin as a young boy, he is honoured to be representing Ireland at youth level.

He added: “We speak French at home but I grew up in Ireland so I have a very strong attachment to both. I have always been open to both and when Ireland came in I was more than happy to represent them. A senior call-up to Ireland is a long way down the line but it’s what I work for every day.”

Arriving at Oakwell as an Under 23s player in September, Will has enjoyed a whirlwind introduction to Championship football, featuring in matchday squads sooner than he perhaps anticipated.

“I came in as an under 23s player so anything I get with the first team is a bonus. It’s a good balance I can get regular competitive games for the 23s, to keep me ticking over, and some minutes for the first team."

“In the last three months I’ve learnt a lot, probably more than the last few years, because of all the Championship games. Being a player in a Championship team, you learn quickly, but I am very pleased with how I have done so far… I want to get better, though.”

UEFA Under-21 European Championship Qualifiers – Group F

2022 UEFA Under-21 European Championship Qualifier
Republic of Ireland v Italy
Friday, November 12
Tallaght Stadium
KO 5:30pm

2022 UEFA Under-21 European Championship Qualifier
Republic of Ireland v Sweden
Tuesday, November 16
Tallaght Stadium
KO 7pm


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