Gary Caldwell is hoping Will Grigg is one of three Wigan Athletic representatives at this summer’s European Championships.
The 24-year-old netted his first international goal last night for Northern Ireland in their 3-0 friendly win over Belarus, and is expected to be named later today in their 23-man squad for France.
He could be joined by Billy Mckay, who spent the last year on loan at Dundee United, but who may well find himself edged out by his more prolific club colleague.
Midfielder Emyr Huws is another who spent the campaign out on loan, in the Championship with Huddersfield, but who is due to return to Wigan after hopefully starring with Wales.
“I hope Will gets the nod and does well, as we do with Emyr and Billy,” Caldwell told the Evening Post.
“To play for your country is one thing, but to do it at a major finals must be incredible. We hope they all have great success out there.”
While Grigg is sure to be a key man for Latics again next year, the futures of Huws and Mckay – and Andrew Taylor, who spent the season on loan at Reading – is less clear.
As things stand, though, Caldwell is planning for all three to be part of his squad for next term.
“Those players are still under contract so they will be returning,” the Latics boss added.
“And they’ll be returning to a different football club to the one they left.
“They’ll be returning to a group of players that’s been very successful, and if they want to buy back into that then there are places there for them to be a part of.”
Caldwell admits Huws in particular has work to do, after the player told him last summer he was unwilling to play in League One.
“I think Emyr has to prove to the group that he wants to come back here and be a part of it, and show his quality,” Caldwell added.
“I think he’s a fantastic player, he’s had a great season in the Championship.
“Without a doubt he could add to this group, but he has to show these players he wants to be a part of that if they are to welcome him back.”