It is perhaps fitting for Richard Stearman that Wolves are spending a part of pre-season in Ireland, as the defender aims for a continuation of the club form which could yet see him emerge on the international radar.
Stearman was one of the leading lights in Wolves’ Sky Bet League One title success, his second promotion in six years at Molineux, and also now qualifies for Republic of Ireland consideration via his mother’s side of the family.
And while his immediate focus is on maintaining his standards for Wolves back in the Championship, a quality and consistency of performance would no doubt have the Irish selectors taking an interest.
“I was on standby for one squad last season but I think maybe playing in League One possibly hindered me a little bit,” says Stearman.
“But now if I play regularly in the Championship to a standard I was getting to last season then maybe I can put myself in the frame.
“We’ll just have to see how things go this season – if it comes along that would be great.
“If that doesn’t happen then I’ll just carry on playing my best for Wolves.”
Wolves’ Head Coach Kenny Jackett has certainly been impressed by Stearman, who signed a new two-year contract in the summer.
“I think Richard is coming into the best years of his career now for the position he is in,” says Jackett.
“It’s a big year for him and if he has aspirations of playing international football for Ireland he will want to hit the ground running and impress in this Championship this season
“And if you can shine at this level in the Championship there is no reason why he couldn’t do it.
“It will be interesting but I am sure that Martin (O’Neill) will be aware of Richard as he will be of all the players.
“I am sure that the higher you go the better your chances are.”