Having netted for his club Bradford City, Terek Wright is now hoping to make some history with the Republic of Ireland as they seek a place in the European Championship for the first time.
Next Friday will see coach Jim Crawford’s team face Israel in the first leg of the playoffs to next year’s finals in Romania and Georgia.
Wright is part of the band It includes Evan Ferguson and Aaron Connolly, and he is delighted to have the likes of Connolly – now on loan at Venice in the second tier – involved.
“I’m happy to have him there and I’m sure the whole team is there,” he said at a news conference as preparations for the first leg began.
“He’s a huge confidence booster for the group; he’s played in the Premier League for Brighton, scored goals. It’s a healthy competition; we push each other to be better players.
“Our attack is full of goals and assists, and as a winger I want to do my job.
“We have new faces in the team and we don’t have to worry about them not performing. We are all looking forward to the first leg which will be a sale at Tallaght Stadium.”
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Sure enough, Wright, on loan from Aston Villa, played his part for Bradford last Saturday, when he scored and then assisted in the 3-0 win over Stevenage. After the match, Bantams chief Mark Hughes was full of praise for the County Cork nativewho made the Man of the Match show.
“I thought it gave us a good outlet and showed its quality,” he said.
“Obviously he has the speed that can take the ball at the other end of the field to us. But he has a good grasp, is calm in possession and keeps the ball.”
Wright, who has also spent time on loan to Walsall, Salford City and Colchester United, now feels he has found a club he can make his mark. This is crucial in his final season on loan from Villa.
“Of all the credits I’ve had so far, I’m enjoying this the most. The coach has been great with me so far and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. He welcomed me, gave me game time. It just made no sense for me to go to Bradford to work under him.” , to work under a coach who was a legend when he played for Manchester United… and I am a United fan.
Wright aspires to play in the English Premier League, to return to Villa Park next season.
On that goal, the 21-year-old added on Thursday: “I have to get the stats and get a promotion with Bradford. I’m aiming for high goals, and I don’t see why I can’t get into the first team for Villa.”
“Last season was a bit of a writing off for me, I didn’t perform. I wasn’t really sure of myself, I think I lost myself a little bit. This season I’m more confident in myself, I know what I want.”
Follow the Republic of Ireland vs Israel match in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-off on Friday (KO 7pm) via the live blog on RTÉ.ie/Sports and the RTÉ News app, or watch the live broadcast on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player.