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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 13:56 GMT 14:56 UK
Trundle targets Republic call-up
By Frank Keogh

New Bristol City striker Lee Trundle
Trundle has long harboured Republic international ambitions
New Bristol City striker Lee Trundle has revealed he is determined to force his way into the international reckoning with the Republic of Ireland.

The Liverpool-born forward, who has an Irish grandfather, is set to complete his 1m move from Swansea on Monday.

He impressed when scoring on his City debut in a 2-2 home friendly draw with Yeovil Town on Saturday.

And afterwards, Trundle told BBC Sport: "I'd like to play at the highest level and that includes internationals."

The arrival of the prolific 30-year-old, who has a pop star girlfriend and dapper dress sense, has caused a real buzz around Ashton Gate.

I don't normally talk to people over 30, never mind sign them

Bristol City boss Gary Johnson on 30-year-old Lee Trundle

At Swansea, where he was revered by fans, Trundle even secured his own image rights deal.

His grandfather is from Inchicore, a suburb of Dublin, and Trundle has dreamed of playing international football since he was a schoolboy.

He said Republic manager Steve Staunton was aware of his eligibility and will keep an eye on his progress in the second tier of the English game.

"I scored 20-plus goals a season four years running for Swansea and I believe in my own ability, otherwise I wouldn't have come to the Championship," said the 6ft frontman.

TRUNDLE - THE PLAYER
Born: Liverpool 10/10/76
Former job: Fitness instructor
Clubs: Wrexham (74 games, 27 goals), Swansea (156 games, 86 goals)
Previous bids: Swansea turned down 750,000 offer from Sheff Wed in 2005

"I could have stayed in the comfort zone at Swansea but I had to take the chance to step up and prove myself at a higher level."

He has an amiable personality, good looks and is engaged to former Atomic Kitten pop star Liz McClarnon, a fellow Everton supporter.

She has been scouring the property pages of the Bristol Evening Post to find somewhere for them to settle in the city.

It is the latest step in Trundle's blossoming professional career, which only started at the age of 24.

Trundle's path so far has some parallels with former Republic of Ireland striker John Aldridge.

606: DEBATE

Both Liverpool-born strikers did not turn professional until their 20s, before making a big impression at Welsh clubs (Aldridge for Newport) and going on to rise through the divisions.

Staunton is not overloaded with options up front as he struggles to lead the Republic to qualification for Euro 2008 but Trundle is an interesting prospect.

"Steve Staunton knows I'm eligible to play and looked at the level I was at, scoring goals, so I now have to do it in the Championship," he added.

Trundle looked sharp as he scored and also set up City's equaliser against Yeovil and manager Gary Johnson is confident he can improve further.

"I'm pleased we've been able to get a top person," revealed Johnson.

TRUNDLE - OFF THE PITCH
Nicknames: Known as Magic Daps in Swansea (Daps is Welsh slang for boots). And 'Lord' Lee Trundle
Shirt: Loved 10 at Swansea, but will settle for nine with City
Clothing: Launched own LT10 clothing range (later scrapped) as part of an image rights deal
Girlfriend: Engaged to pop singer Liz McClarnon
Daughter: Brooke, seven, from a previous relationship

"He loves training and playing football, he has ambition and enthusiasm and that's why I like him so much. He's a great individual but with a team ethic.

"He was Swansea's best player for four years so they weren't going to give him up lightly.

"I don't normally talk to people over 30, never mind sign them, but he has the ambition of a 25-year-old."

Trundle, who angered rival fans with an anti-Cardiff City T-shirt during one controversial post-match celebration with the Swans, clearly wants to keep his supporters in south Wales on side.

He commented: "There might be some fans who are sad that I left but I hope the majority look at what I've done for the club because Swansea is a city I would like to go back to for visits.

"I do think they will be in the Championship soon. I'll keep a look out for them because it's a club close to my heart."

SEE ALSO
Trundle loss manageable - Curtis
29 Jul 07 |  Swansea City
Trundle scores on Bristol C debut
28 Jul 07 |  Bristol City
Trundle at Swansea in pictures
27 Jul 07 |  Swansea City
Trundle ends NI interest
27 Jan 04 |  Swansea City
Trundle makes Republic bid
15 Sep 03 |  Swansea City


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