SOUTHEND United defender Adam Thompson insists he is ‘over the moon’ to have earned an international recall with Northern Ireland.

The Shrimpers centre-back will attend a four day training camp with Michael O’Neill’s men in Manchester later this month.

But Thompson - who will be aiming to stay in the squad for the friendly against New Zealand at the start of June - initially feared he was being wound up by a team-mate.

“I got a phone call from the administration staff at the Northern Irish FA giving me a heads up that I was going to be asked to attend but there was a part of me which thought it was one of the lads having a laugh,” said Thompson.

“It wasn’t until I got e-mail confirmation that I realised it was 100 per cent happening and I was absolutely over the moon about it.

“Playing for your country is the biggest honour in the game and I’m absolutely buzzing to have been included again.”

Thompson, who qualifies to play for Northern Ireland through his grandmother, won the second of his two senior international caps back in 2011.

And he is thrilled to have worked his way back into the squad - even though it may mean sacrificing a summer holiday.

“We were looking to go away on holiday but we’ve put that on hold and I’m not really at all worried about it now,” said Thompson.

“If you offered me a holiday or the chance to play for Northern Ireland I would bite your hand off to play for Northern Ireland.

“It’s been a long-term project of mine to try and get back in the squad but I always knew it was going to be exceptionally difficult because of how successful Northern Ireland had been.

“The European Championships were fantastic and there are so many good players in and around the squad now that it’s really hard to get in.

“But now I’ve been given a chance I’ll be doing all I can to impress the manager.”

And that means Thompson - who made 45 appearances for Southend last season - will continue to train hard in the next few weeks.

“The Premier League boys will have only just finished their season when we all meet up so it’s important I keep fit and keep working hard,” said the 24-year-old.

“I want to make sure I make the most of this opportunity I’ve been given.”