Toal Delight At International Call-Up

Eoin Toal admits his first senior call-up by Northern Ireland continues a ‘surreal’ first few months as a Wanderers’ player.

Toal’s impressive run of form with Wanderers has earned the defender a place in the Northern Ireland squad for their opening two games in qualifying for Euro 2024.

He joins Whites’ team-mates Conor Bradley and Dion Charles in Michael O’Neill’s 26-man party for the Group H games against San Marino and Finland later this month.

And Toal’s selection completes a rapid rise for the 24-year-old following his arrival at Wanderers from League of Ireland side Derry City last July.

“It’s a bit surreal isn’t it? It’s only been six or seven months since I came here,” he said.

“Obviously being in the U21 squad in the past creates a good pathway for the senior team and coming over here has been a really good stepping stone.

“I’ve played a good handful of games now and getting in the Northern Ireland squad now, it’s been brilliant.

“Getting in the squad has always been my aim and to it in my first few months at Bolton feels amazing. Its’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m really looking forward to it.

“It’s the start of a campaign, as well, so it will be good to get in there at the start and hopefully we can get two good results.”

After recovering from an initial injury issue and feeling his way into the Wanderers’ set-up via the early rounds of the Papa Johns Trophy, Toal made his EFL bow in December and hasn’t looked back.

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The central defender has since racked up 18 League One starts – and three goals – in helping Ian Evatt’s men sustain a top-six challenge in tandem with their run to Wembley for the Trophy final on 2 April.

Toal now faces a potential massive month but isn’t looking beyond Saturday’s visit of promotion-chasing Ipswich Town when the Whites will be chasing a seventh successive home win to get within three points of third-placed Town.   

“Our focus is on Saturday and trying to get the three points,” he added.

“It’s going to be a very good game. They’re a very good side and high up in the league as well, so it will be a good game and hopefully we can come out on top.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game but it’s one we’re ready for and we’re looking forward to it.

“We’ve very good home form so hopefully we can continue that and put in a good performance and a good result.”

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