Blackpool midfielder's twin ambition to end the season

Winning at Wembley would cap a perfect first season with Blackpool for Kenny Dougall.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 4:45 pm

The 28-year-old moved to Bloomfield Road in October after being released by Barnsley.

He soon became an integral part of Neil Critchley’s side, making 39 appearances in all competitions.

Ahead of Sunday’s play-off final, Dougall also received the news he had been called up to the Australian squad for their World Cup qualifiers.

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“It couldn’t have gone much better,” Dougall admits.

“From day one, I’ve come in and played and, personally, that’s always good because you always want to play football wherever you are.

“We’ve won games as well, so if you look at just those two points it’s gone really well and I’ve got myself into the national team as well.

“Hopefully I can earn a cap, which is something I’ve still not done. If I can earn a cap, that will be fantastic. I’ll be over the moon.

“I was told about the call-up a few weeks ago and I was delighted to get selected for my national team.

“I have a job to do here first and I’ll do that, then I’ll look forward to the camp afterwards.”

Dougall won’t have any time to rest after the final, with the Socceroos playing four games in 12 days.

Australia, who have won all four of their qualifiers so far, take on Kuwait on June 3, before facing Chinese Taipei (June 7), Nepal (June 11) and Jordan (June 15).

“The Australian government didn’t let us sneak back into the country, so we’ve got a little hub system with four qualifiers in Kuwait, which will be straight away,” Dougall added.

“I will be busy until June 15, then I can think about a holiday.

“I was aware they were looking at me. The national team hasn’t played a game for 18 months, but I was in the last camp before Covid so I guess it wasn’t a surprise when you look at it like that.

“Obviously I’ve been doing well on the pitch, so that’s helped.”

Before he flies to Kuwait, there is a job to do to help Blackpool back to the Championship.

“It would mean a lot to get back there,” the Australian said.

“I feel I didn’t really get a good crack at it as I broke my leg at Barnsley, so I didn’t get a run of games together.

“It would be good to get back to that level and show what I can do, but we’re not there yet and we’ve got a job to do, so I can’t talk about being there already.

“In terms of the club, it would be great to get the club back there because it hasn’t been back since 2015.

“With what they’ve been through with the previous owner, it would mean a lot to the fans and hopefully we can do it for them.”

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