Royals midfielder eager for international debut

Reading midfielder Jem KaracanReading midfielder Jem Karacan could receive his first international cap tonight as Turkey face Hungary in a Group D World Cup qualifying match.

The 23-year-old was drafted into Abdullah Avci’s Turkey squad last week and is hopeful he can make his international debut in Budapest. Karacan, who has a Turkish father but was born in Catford, London, has made appearances for Turkey at every youth level from the Under 17s upwards, but is yet to earn his first senior cap.

Turkey find themselves fourth in group D after losing 1-0 to Romania in Istanbul last Friday, with only three points from three games, trailing six points behind league leaders Holland.

Jem Karacan has appeared several times in the Premier League for winless Reading this season, and has been at Reading since signing for the club in 2007, making 126 appearances.

The young Turk hopes that Reading’s current Premier League status will help him win his first cap.

“Every team in the Premier League is a high-profile side, everyone around the world knows that.

“Hopefully I can play as many games as I can in the Premier League and prove to Turkey I can play international football.”

However, Karacan believes it is difficult for anglicised turks to receive call-ups.

“I don’t think there are many people who have got a call up from the Premier League who are half Turkish and half English in the last few years I’ve been pushing for a call up.

“It has been quite frustrating but year-by-year they have been sending more scouts over,” he added.

Despite the difficulties, the Royals midfielder is determined to play for Turkey.

“We’ll be pushing hard and I just want to play for Turkey and it would be a dream come true to get a first full cap. I’ll do everything I can to do that.”

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