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West Brom's McAuley on verge of 50th Northern Ireland cap

Gareth McAuley is looking forward to notching 50 international caps for Northern Ireland this coming week.

The West Bromwich Albion defender will reach the milestone in Tuesday's Euro2016 qualifier against Greece in Athens if he recovers in time from a knock he sustained in the 2-0 win over the Faroes Islands on Saturday.

34-year old McAuley, who scored the opener in that victory, made his international debut in 2005 and is hoping he can contribute when he steps out for his country for the 50th time.

"To reach 50 caps is a great achievement and one I probably couldn't have dreamt about. When I made my debut at 25 against Germany I hoped I would be able to have a long international career but it has been everything I hoped and more," he said.

"For my family it will be a very proud moment too because I have to rely on them to pick me up when things aren't good and they have always been there for me.

"But as special as it is to reach this sort of milestone, if we don't get a good result, I don't think it will be possible to look back on it with any real delight.

"I will always be proud of reaching 50 caps, but I have been proud of every appearance because there really is no greater honour than playing for your country."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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