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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 April, 2005, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Shiels targets N Ireland call-up
Dean Shiels joined Hibs from Arsenal
Dean Shiels of Hibs is hoping for a Northern Ireland call-up
Hibernian's Dean Shiels hopes to catch the eye of Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez by clinching a European place with the Easter Road side this season.

The 20-year-old midfielder has been affected by his country's decision to scrap competitive under-21 games and has yet to be included at senior level.

"If Hibs got into the UEFA Cup it would put everyone at the club in the limelight," said Shiels.

"It would give Lawrie Sanchez the chance to see me at a higher level."

Shiels said the prospects of an international call-up were made more difficult by the Irish FA's decision not to enter an Under-21 team in European Championship qualifying.

If Dean Shiels keeps progressing he has got to be one player they look at
Hibs boss Tony Mowbray

"I have never met Lawrie Sanchez and I do not think he has been up to see any of the games," said the former Arsenal player.

"But it is difficult to get in the Northern Ireland first team because they have scrapped the Under-21s for financial reasons.

"I am trying to get a bit of consistency and so hopefully that is to come a couple of years down the line."

Hibernian manager Tony Mowbray said he had no fears about Shiels eventually forcing his way into Sanchez's future plans.

"Dean has been mentioned in conversations I have had with Lawrie and he is aware that he is up here.

"I would not tell Lawrie his job but when this current World Cup qualification campaign is over they have got to look ahead.

"If Dean Shiels keeps progressing as a footballer then he has got to be one player they will look at to help rebuild for the future."

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