Call of duty

Date published: 14 May 2014

RISING star Jonson Clarke-Harris turned down an international call-up from the Republic of Ireland’s under-21s this season, the Chronicle can reveal.

In a two-part interview conducted by his fellow strike partner Charlie MacDonald, which starts today and continues tomorrow (see this section), the teenage forward tells how he intends to pursue his dream of pulling on an England shirt.

Clarke-Harris (19) qualifies to play for the Republic through his father.

“I did think about it, because my dad’s half Irish,” said Clarke-Harris.

“But I’m English and I want to play for my country.

“I do think I can achieve it. A lot of players representing the under-21s are at Manchester City or Chelsea and other big clubs.

“But they are used to playing nice, easy football, and haven’t had the experience of playing against big, physical defenders. So I think I can offer something different.”

Clarke-Harris missed out on an under-21s call from England yesterday, as Southgate selected a 25-strong squad for next week’s Euro qualifier against Wales and the Toulon tournament in France which follows it.

Meanwhile, Athletic have been linked with a swoop for veteran Tranmere forward Ryan Lowe.

The 35-year-old scored 20 goals for Rovers in a difficult season for the club, which ended with relegation to League Two.

Lowe would appear to fit the bill in terms of the level of experience manager Lee Johnson is looking for from a new striker.

“It is well reported that the club are making cuts and there are going to be cutbacks but I want to stay at this football club provided I am wanted,” Lowe, who scored the winner for Tranmere against Athletic from the penalty spot at Boundary Park this season, told the Liverpool Echo.

“The club has a place in my heart but on the other hand the club needs to have a place in theirs for me.

“Bottom line is that I want to stay at Tranmere and all I am asking for is a bit of commitment from the club and I will sign tomorrow.”