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I’m not sure how his west country accent would lend itself to a bit of yodelling but it looks as though Ashley Barnes could be set to be the next Burnley player to play international football with an expected call up for Austria on the horizon.

He qualifies because one of his grandma’s was born in Klagenfurt and he did play one game for their under-20 team ten years ago, but any interest seemed to have died down until earlier this year when the Austrian coach Franco Foda saw him in action at West Ham when he was bang in form and scored our opener with a superb strike.

1718 burnley ashley barnes 01 500x500A call up was expected then but didn’t happen, reportedly due to passport issues, but much of that’s been cleared up now and he is available should he be called. Ashley said: “Everything is done and dusted on the red-tape front with forms and everything I needed to do. I have sorted out a passport now and I’m raring to go as I get the call, but that’s obviously down to the manager.”

He added: “I qualify through my grandma, she was Austrian. Sadly, she passed away not so long ago so she won’t see me play for Austria, which would have been a great thrill for her. I always wanted to do that for my nan, but she’s just missed it. But that side of my family in Austria are very excited and proud that I want to represent their country. I never gave up on it and it’s still there. I am in contact with them and I just have to wait and see.'”

He’s certainly trying to speak the Somerset version of Austrian German, he said: “I am trying to learn the language. I have an app on my phone and use it to practise while I am driving in the car, so it’s going well.

“For now, I just have to keep doing my talking on the pitch for Burnley. My main priority is to start the season well for Burnley and be scoring goals. The Austria coach came to watch me at West Ham last March when we won 3-0 and I scored the opening goal which was good and they’ve seen me play since then too.

“Over the summer I had a few meetings with the coach and Austrian officials. He’s enthusiastic and wants me on board, but that is not down to him. It’s down to me doing my talking on the pitch and picking up where I left off last season with my form. I just need to keep going. Do I feel Austrian? I’m not sure. Let’s see, but what will be will be.”

Austria will be in action next month. On Thursday 6th September they have a home friendly against Sweden in Vienna and five days later travel to Bosnia & Herzegovina for their first Nations League fixture.

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