DAVID Meyler is desperate to mark his 24th birthday by capping a memorable season with a dream international appearance at Wembley.
The Republic of Ireland midfielder will have his whole family in London on Wednesday evening for his big day, and having helped Hull to regain their Barclays Premier League status, he is desperate to complete a dream few months by playing for his country against England.
Meyler said: “It’s even more special because it’s my birthday. I’m turning 24 when we play England at Wembley – what more could you want, especially after the season I have had?
“I know quite a few of the lads who will be there as well so it’s like a dream really, and hopefully I get the opportunity to play.
“My family are all coming over so it would be capped off with my birthday. It would be outstanding.”
It has been a whirlwind few months for Meyler, whose decision to leave Sunderland for the Tigers in January after a successful loan spell paid off in style when Steve Bruce’s men belatedly secured their return to the top-flight on a dramatic final day with a 2-2 draw against npower Championship winners Cardiff.
Meyler said: “I remember I sat down with my dad and said, ‘Steve Bruce wants me to sign’, and he said, ‘Well, if you go to the Championship, make sure next year you are playing in the Premier League’.
“That’s the target we set out and we have been fortunate enough to have succeeded. A lot of it is down to the manager and we are delighted we are back there.
“I am over the moon. It’s been an outstanding seven months and I am delighted to be here as well with an opportunity to play in these international games.”
Meyler’s achievement is all the more creditable as he twice had to battle back from cruciate ligament injuries during his time at the Stadium of Light.
However, he insists he never feared for his career despite a depressing early prognosis, and having seen his mother successfully battle cancer he was not about to allow a football injury to get the better of him.
He said: “We all suffer setbacks in life, it’s how you deal with them. I am very fortunate with the family I come from that we are determined people.
“I sat down with the physios and they said, ‘Right, we want you to do this, this and this’, and that was it.
“They told me at first that it was 18 months I would be out, then it was 12 months and then it was nine months. I got back in seven months.
“It’s down to the individual himself. The surgeon can only do so much. He repaired everything and away I went and I worked really hard and I got back to playing where I wanted to be.
“Well, the glass is always half-full, isn’t it? I have had more difficult things in my life than a knee injury. To put it into perspective, it’s only a knee injury.
“I knew myself I would get back from it. In respect of my mother, that’s more difficult and that was harder for my family to deal with than my second knee injury.
“It was no bother to me.”
Meyler will hope for some involvement against England and Georgia ahead of next Friday’s World Cup qualifier with the Faroe Islands and the friendly against Spain which follows it, but will then turn his attention back to a new Premier League adventure with Hull.
He said: “We want to strengthen, we want to boost that squad and make sure we are in the Premier League the following season.
“That’s our aim, to stay in the Premier League and make sure we give a good account of ourselves after the terrific season we have had.”