Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 27 November 2014

Norwich's Hooper hopes for England call

Gary Hooper, left, hopes to continue his goalscoring form after joining Norwich
Gary Hooper, left, hopes to continue his goalscoring form after joining Norwich

Gary Hooper hopes moving to Norwich from Celtic will enhance his bid for a place in England's World Cup squad next summer.

The 25-year-old signed from Celtic last week and met up with the Norwich squad on Sunday following their return from the United States.

The Canaries' long-standing interest and the prospect of playing in the Barclays Premier League persuaded Hooper to swap Champions League nights at Parkhead and the goldfish bowl that is football in Glasgow for Norfolk.

His aims are simple after moving to Carrow Road on a three-year deal, with Norwich having the option of a further year.

"(To) score goals," Hooper said. "That's what I get paid for, that's what the gaffer got me in for and that's the challenge: to play and score goals. I wanted to play in the Premiership and to try to get an England call-up. I think there's a good chance of that."

Hooper felt that at Celtic the opportunity for England recognition was limited, even though he came close to a call-up under Roy Hodgson earlier this year, only to be ruled out through injury.

"You don't really get a look in up there," Hooper said. "Down here you've got more chance. The main thing is playing, getting on the pitch first, and doing what I do. To play for your country is anyone's dream, but my first dream is to play in the Premiership."

Manager Chris Hughton supports Hooper's ambition.

"He's got to play well enough for Norwich City Football Club and score goals and prove that he can do it in this very, very difficult league," Hughton said. "That's the reason why he's here and that's the wonderful challenge that he has."

Hooper scored 31 goals for Scottish champions Celtic last season and is the Canaries' seventh summer signing.

He was Celtic's leading goalscorer for the last three seasons, having joined from Scunthorpe in 2010 for £2.4million.

Hooper could have joined sooner, but opted to stay in Glasgow in January to be part of Celtic's Champions League campaign. Hooper added: "I had the Champions League and Celtic wanted to keep me. It was a tough decision, but I'm here now and I'm happy."

QPR also had a bid accepted for Hooper and he carefully considered a move to Loftus Road. "I was close, but I wanted to come here and play in the Premiership," Hooper added.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre