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Long's Ireland Call Makes Up for Missing Family Wedding

16 May 2017

Kevin Long is set to miss his brother's wedding after getting his first international call-up.

But the Clarets' defender believes Daniel will forgive him if he ends the summer with a Republic of Ireland cap.

"I think I will miss it. He won't be too happy, but if I play a game he'll be all right," said Long, who was due to be a groomsman at the ceremony next month.

"I was also supposed to be going to Marbella with the family, but I'm sure they won't mind if I get a cap.

"I spoke to my parents and all my brothers and everyone is buzzing."

Long has been named in a 37-man squad by Ireland boss Martin O'Neill for friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay and a World Cup qualifier against Austria in Dublin.

The friendly against Mexico is in the United States, ruling Long out of his wedding duties.

But his inclusion in a senior squad for the first time is more than adequate compensation and caps a memorable end to the season for the 26-year-old.

Long has made his first two Premier League starts this month - helping Burnley get the point they needed to secure Premier League status in a 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion - with his elevation to first-team duty earning the Clarets' longest serving player his welcome surprise.

"I wasn't expecting it. I'm shocked but really happy," added Long, who is joined in the Ireland squad by Turf Moor team-mates Jeff Hendrick, Stephen Ward and Robbie Brady.

"It was a nice surprise. I was just trying to concentrate on club football, so when I found out I was absolutely delighted.

"It's been a tough year but it's been a nice reward, getting a few games in towards the end of the season and I've really been enjoying it.

"Playing games in the Premier League is one of the highest levels you can play at, so people do take notice when you are playing.

"I'm in the squad, so I want to play a game. If you're involved, everyone is going to want to play. I will go there, train as best I can and see what happens.

"It will be good to meet up for the first time, get to know the people, see what the training is like and hopefully I can do all right."

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