Healy plans for the future
By Alex Dunn
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Northern Ireland striker David Healy is looking for a long career in international football.
Northern Ireland striker David Healy insists he has no desire to finish his international career early, like many of his former team-mates have before him.
The Leeds hit-man is all set to win his 50th cap against Finland on Wednesday and he admits it will be a real honour to captain his country.
In recent years a number of key players have decided to call time early on their international careers, despite continuing to enjoy fruitful club football but Healy concludes he is not likely to go down that route.
Firmly of the opinion that it is a privilege to represent your country, the 27-year-old has already set his sights of winning more caps in the future.
"Even if I never play for Northern Ireland again, nobody will be able to take this honour away from me,'' said Healy.
"This is probably the most responsibility I have been given with the team. It will be a night to remember.
"I cannot imagine at the moment not wanting to play for Northern Ireland.
"Now I have reached 50 I am determined to get to 70-75. That could take another three or four years, the way the fixtures pan out.
"In that time a new manager could come in and you might find injuries disrupting you.
"I want to get as many caps as possible because you never know when your next game is going to come."
Wednesday's game is warm-up for Northern Ireland's opening Euro 2008 qualifier on September 2 and Healy admits qualifying for a major international is at the back of his mind.
"Hopefully we can qualify for a major championship while I am around,'' he concluded.
"We may not be the prettiest team to watch but we are hard to beat.
"Not only that we have some good young players coming through the ranks.
"It is important we dig in and get as many points as possible early on in the campaign."