International window finally ends for Blackpool trio - but there's not much time to rest

Blackpool’s players on international duty can finally relax, unwind and enjoy a well-deserved break.

Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 8:44 am

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The international window, which came on the back of a long, hard season for Kenny Dougall, CJ Hamilton and Shayne Lavery, has now come to a close.

However, the trio don’t have long to sun themselves with the Seasiders due back in for pre-season training next Monday (June 20).

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Only two friendlies have been confirmed so far, trips to Southport and Salford City on July 2 and July 19 respectively.

The Championship season then gets underway for good on July 30, a week earlier than normal.

This is due to the winter World Cup in Qatar, which begins on November 21. The Championship will pause on November 13, before the schedule gets back underway on December 9, a period which covers the group games and the opening round of knockout games.

The World Cup ends with the final being played on December 18.

It's been a few weeks to remember for Hamilton, who made his international debut for Ireland

The midfielder was left out of Graham Arnold’s squad as the Socceroos edged past Peru on penalties in their intercontinental final, having beaten United Arab Emirates in the semi-finals.

Dougall, who picked up his fifth cap in a recent friendly win against Jordan, has featured in plenty of Arnold’s squads over the last year and will now have his eyes set on making it to Qatar.

Should the 29-year-old play at this winter’s competition, he will become the first Blackpool player to feature at a World Cup since Ball lifted the trophy for England in 1966.

His Blackpool teammates Hamilton and Lavery, meanwhile, experienced mixed results over the recent international window.

The 27-year-old was an unused substitute for Ireland’s three other Nations League games.

Nevertheless, it still would have been a priceless experience for the winger, who moved to Ireland at a young age and qualifies through his mother.

It was a bleak few weeks for Ian Baraclough’s side, who sit joint-bottom of their Nations League group with two points from four games despite being top seeds.