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League Two player looking at making international debut… with San Marino!

A League Two player has revealed that he is looking at making an international debut with San Marino who sit at the very bottom of the FIFA World Rankings (211th).

That man is goalkeeper James McKeown and he spoke to Grimsby Live of his dream to be able to say he is has played for an international team.

As a Under-19s player, he did represent the Republic of Ireland while at Peterborough and was selected in the 2009-2010 squad for the European championships for the Republic of Ireland U21 on the substitute bench in November 2009 against Georgia and Armenia.

He’s very much a regular for the Mariners, he made 43 appearances for them last season, nine so far this campaign, and made over at least 35 for Grimsby every season since 2011-12.

McKeown was born in Birmingham, but has links with Ireland and San Marino, the latter through his grandfather.

He told Grimsby Live back in April this year: “I’m trying to track down the official evidence, which is a major, major problem because I can’t find him!”

“I’ve got his name, and I know there weren’t many people who came into the country from San Marino in the 50s.

“If I can get the evidence, then I might be able to play Kazakhstan away.

“It’s four days before the wedding – I told my missus and she was having none of it!

“I don’t think Ireland are going to come calling again, but if I could get it, that would be an ambition ticked off.

The months went by and to this day hasn’t made an appearance for them. BUT senior BBC TV and Radio Sports Journalist Matt Dean did reveal in July that at the end of last season, the San Marino FA had been back in touch with the club to request video footage of McKeown in action.

The player has also been named the captain for the club and has conceded 10 goals in 9 games and kept a clean sheet in 3 of them, helping guide the side to 7th in the League Two table.

Keeping our fingers crossed you get that call up James!


After finding out that James McKeown wants to represent San Marino at international football, fans took to give their reaction with some making an amused comment – see though tweets on the next page.


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