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Amhrán na bhFiann

Join John O'Shea on his quest to bring excitement back to Irish football
Started on 4 April 2021 by Justice
Latest Reply on 31 July 2021 by Justice
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OI! Less battering Croatia please :( in all seriousness, you were extremely unlucky not to get at least a point against Germany in the game before, so I'm sure the players were desperate to get the win in the follow up game. I see 5 easy wins in your next 6 games tbh, and I think the fans will be disappointed if anything other than that is to happen ;)

Ireland is certainly on the right track under O'Shea, and I'd love for their rise to see an improvement in the standard of their league too.
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FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview: Goalkeepers


02/11/2020

With the Republic of Ireland's squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar set to be announced later today, we take a look at potential inclusions in the squad. We'll delve into the international careers and the club form of John O'Shea's options.

Let's take a look at the Goalkeepers.



Gavin Bazunu | 20 y/o | Derby County (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 09 | International Goals: 00

Arguably Ireland's mot exciting young goalkeeper, Gavin Bazunu has built up an incredible CV of senior experience in recent years. Following loan spells at Rochdale in EFL League One and NAC Breda in the Dutch Eredivisie, Bazunu has found himself at Derby County in the EFL Championship this season. His parent club, Manchester City, see him as Éderson's future successor and are keen to allow Bazunu to continue gaining invaluable experience at a young age.

Bazunu's form so far this season has been spectacular, keeping 9 clean sheets so far in 22 games across all competitions. Bazunu's incredible shot stopping ability, combined with his communication skills, makes him arguably the best goalkeeper in the world for his age.



Caoimhin Kelleher | 23 y/o | Inter Miami (USA | Major League Soccer)
International Caps: 16 | International Goals: 00

Caoimhin Kelleher is considered as an iconic Irish player, despite his young age, for a string of incredible performances at last summer's UEFA European Championships. The young Cork-born goalkeeper has struggled for game time at Liverpool and has spent 2022 on loan at MLS franchise Inter Miami.

Kelleher's form at Inter Miami has been commendable, keeping 10 clean sheets in 26 games. Kelleher is known as a well-rounded goalkeeper and provides a calming influence to his team mates. Good with the ball at his feet, Kelleher could play a key role as an influential figure in Irish football.



Kieran O'Hara | 26 y/o | Blackburn Rovers (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 03 | International Goals: 00

Kieran O'Hara came through Manchester United's renowned footballing academy and gained plenty of experience in the English football leagues. Loan spells at Trafford, Fylde, Morecambe, Stockport County, Macclesfield Town and Burton Albion helped build O'Hara's senior experience before he eventually joined the latter on a permanent deal in 2020. Following two seasons at Burton, O'Hara moved on to EFL Championship side Blackburn Rovers ahead of this season.

O'Hara has shared minutes with fellow shot stopper Angus Gunn for Blackburn but has still played 11 times in all competitions, keeping 5 clean sheets. Having played 3 times for Ireland, O'Hara could be in with a chance of a place in the World Cup squad.



Max O'Leary | 26 y/o | Sunderland (England | EFL League One)
International Caps: 00 | International Goals: 00

Max O'Leary is a name that has popped up out of the blue this season. The former Bristol City player joined Sunderland ahead of this season in a deal worth €1.8M, having worked his way to becoming Bristol City's number one goalkeeper lasst season.

O'Leary's performances this season have made people take notice. 6 clean sheets in 18 games in all competitions might not impress on paper, but it could have been a lot worse without O'Leary in goals. Despite having never been called up for Ireland in the past, O'Leary could be in for a shock inclusion if O'Shea fancies him.



Darren Randolph | 35 y/o | West Ham United (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 43 | International Goals: 00

Darren Randolph is the most experienced player in this list. The Bray-born shot stopper has been around the block and back for his country, and has played in England's top flight many times. The fan favourite enjoyed spells at Motherwell, Birmingham City and Middlesbrough, among other clubs, alongside current club West Ham.

The 43-time capped goalkeeper has not played for West Ham this season, having been relegated to third-choice goalkeeper for the Hammers, and has fallen out of favour for his country. His last Irish game came in a 2-5 defeat to Finland in 2020. However, his experience may be a factor for possible inclusion in the squad of manager John O'Shea wants to add a cool head in his dressing room.



Mark Travers | 23 y/o | AFC Bournemouth (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 06 | International Goals: 00

Mark Travers is a name that has been on Irish lips for a number of years now. The young goalkeeper broke onto the scene in 2019 with outstanding Premier League performances for Bournemouth, but has had to fight to earn his place as Bournemouth's number one shot stopper.

Travers has started each of Ireland's last four international fixtures and has produced some fine form for his club. 8 clean sheets in 18 games in all competitions has also been bosted by a rate of 2.76 saves per game for Bournemouth this season, as Travers looks a shoe-in to be included in John O'Shea's Ireland squad.


TheLFCFan, goals are key to winning game (Michael Owen). I'm delighted we've been able to hit the back of the net more often than not!
J_ames, five wins is ambitious ;)

FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview: Central Defenders


02/11/2020

With the Republic of Ireland's squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar set to be announced later today, we take a look at potential inclusions in the squad. We'll delve into the international careers and the club form of John O'Shea's options.

Let's take a look at the Central Defenders.



Nathan Collins | 21 y/o | Stoke City (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 21 | International Goals: 00

Nathan Collins has become a crucial player for the Republic of Ireland under John O'Shea, despite his young age. The now-21 year old moved from Cherry Orchard in Ireland to Stoke City back in 2017, making his debut for the club in the 2018/2019 season. An impressive few seasons for the youngster lead to Collins earning his first senior cap for Ireland in 2020 and he hasn't looked back since.

With 21 caps to his name, all earned in the last two years, Collins is a certainty for a callup. Standing at 196cm, Collins' aerial prowess makes him a lighthouse of a defender for club and country and his consistency has been admirable. He's sure to be the first name on the team sheet for John O'Shea.



Shane Duffy | 30 y/o | Wolfsberger AC (Austria | tipp3-Bundesliga)
International Caps: 47 | International Goals: 04

Shane Duffy has become a stalwart of the Irish national team over the last half-decade. The Derry-born central defender was a graduate of Everton's youth academy and enjoyed loan spells at Burnley, Scunthorpe and Yeovil Town before joining Blackburn Rovers in the 2014/2014 season on a permanent deal. Duffy quickly established himself as a fierce defender, earning a move to soon-to-be Premier League side Brighton in 2016. After five years at the club, which included a loan spell at Celtic, Duffy moved to Sheffield United in 2021, and on to current club Wolfsberger in 2022.

Standing at 193cm, Duffy is a menace in the air. With 47 caps and 4 international goals to his name, Duffy is a deserved holder of the title of captain of the Republic of Ireland and his leadership skills surely makes him a must-have in Ireland's squad, whether he starts or not.



Jimmy Dunne | 25 y/o | Brighton & Hove Albion (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 04 | International Goals: 00

Jimmy Dunne is a central defender that many Irish fans are excited about. Born in Drogheda, Dunne was a graduate of Manchester United's youth academy. Dunne made the move to Burnley in 2016 to continue his development, and was loaned out to Barrow, Accrington Stanley, Hearts, Sunderland and Fleetwood before making his debut for Burnley in the 2020/2021 season. After just three appearances for the club, he moved to AS Monaco the following season. Two years in France passed before Dunne moved back to England, joining Premier League side Brighton this season but is yet to play a game for his new club.

Dunne has played four times for the Republic of Ireland and is considered to be a well-rounded defender. He is down the pecking order but may earn a callup as a backup option for the Irish.



John Egan | 30 y/o | Sheffield United (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 35 | International Goals: 01

John Egan is another certainty for John O'Shea's squad, and a certainty to start in defence for Ireland in the World Cup. The Cork-born man came through Sunderland's youth system and enjoyed loan spells at Crystal Palace, Sheffield United, Bradford City and Southend before joining Gillingham in 2014 on a free transfer. He impressed for them, and for Brentford also, over four years before earning his breakthrough move to Sheffield United in 2018. Egan helped his side up to the Premier League and has been a key player ever since.

With 35 caps to his name, Egan is certainly among the more experienced of Ireland's options. He provides a calming influence for his fellow team mates and showcases his bravery regularly with last-ditch blocks and challenges.



Darragh Lenihan | 28 y/o | Blackburn Rovers (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 09 | International Goals: 02

Darragh Lenihan's stock in football has risen drastically recently. Born in Dublin, Lenihan moved to Blackburn in 2011 and worked his way through the youth system. He made his debut for the club in 2014 and, after a loan spell at Burton Albion, worked his way into becoming an important player for the club. With 254 league games for Blackburn to his name, Lenihan is well on his way to becoming an all-time star for the club who once ruled England.

Lenihan has played for his country on 9 occasions, scoring 2 times. He has been favoured by manager John O'Shea in recent internationals and his form for his country might be enough to earn him a place in the squad for the World Cup.



Kevin Long | 32 y/o | Derby County (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 28 | International Goals: 02

Kevin Long is the oldest player on the list and is a contender to appear in what could be his last international tournament. Born in Cork, Long made his senior debut for Cork City back in 2009 before moving to Burnley during the 2009/2010 season. Long enjoyed a number of loan spells through the years, playing some games here and there for Burnley, before eventually becoming a regular squad player in 2017. Long left Burnley this year to move to Derby County where he has been in and out of the squad due to form.

Long has 28 caps to his name but has fallen out of favour, having not been included in any Ireland squad since a disastrous run of personal performances in last summer's European Championship. However, his experience may give him an edge over some of the other contenders and Long will be sure to be chomping at the bit for another chance in the team.



Eoghan O'Connell | 27 y/o | Rochdale (England | EFL League One)
International Caps: 05 | International Goals: 00

Eoghan O'Connell is one of the lesser known names on the list but could be in with a shout for a place in the squad. Also born in Cork, O'Connell was a Celtic youth player. He made his debut for Celtic in 2013 and, after a few loan spells, made his way (permanentyly) to English football with a move to Bury in 2017. O'Connell impressed and moved to current club Rochdale in 2019 where he has since become a regular in the EFL League One.

O'Connell has 5 international aps to his name. Despite playing in the third tier of English football, O'Connell has impressed for Ireland and is a contender for a space in the World Cup squad.



Dara O'Shea | 23 y/o | West Bromwich Albion (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 04 | International Goals: 00

Dara O'Shea is one of the youngest players on the list and one of just two playing in the Premier League. The 23 year old was born in Dublin and played through West Brom's youth academy. Following loan spells at Hereford and Exeter City, O'Shea made his debut for West Brom in the 2019/2020 season. He has since developed into being a backup player and, still at a young age, is expected to become a regular starter in the near future.

O'Shea has played 4 times for Ireland so far and is expected to be in the squad in some capacity. Well-rounded and decent on the ball, O'Shea would fit into a back three.


FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview: Wing Backs


02/11/2020

With the Republic of Ireland's squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar set to be announced later today, we take a look at potential inclusions in the squad. We'll delve into the international careers and the club form of John O'Shea's options.

Let's take a look at the Wing Backs.



Robbie Brady | 30 y/o | New York Red Bulls (USA | Major League Soccer)
International Caps: 51 | International Goals: 08

Robbie Brady will go down in history for one of Ireland's most historic goals. The Dublin man was a Manchester United youth product who never quite made the cut at Old Trafford. Two loan spells at Hull City was followed up by a permanent move to the Tigers in January 2013 where he developed into a creative wide player. His set-piece qualities made him a coveted player for Hull, Norwich and Burnley in Premier League football, where he enjoyed a fairly consistent career, despite some injury-plagued seasons. Brady moved to New York Red Bulls in 2021, where he has become a key player.

With 51 Irish caps to his name, Brady's most famous moment in a green shirt came in Euro 2016 when he scored an unlikely winner against Italy to help Ireland reach the knockout rounds. While he hasn't been involved in any of O'Shea's recent squads, his experience and his versatility could see him be a contender for a place in the World Cup squad. Primarily played at left wing back, he can also feature in midfield.



Cyrus Christie | 30 y/o | New York Red Bulls (USA | Major League Soccer)
International Caps: 31 | International Goals: 02

Cyrus Christie has been a player always considered as a good option, but never quite a regular starter. A team mate of Brady's at New York Red Bulls now, Christie was born in Coventry and came up through Coventry City's youth academy. He made his debut, and became a first team regular, in the 2011/2012 season in the Championship and featured regularly until he moved to Derby in 2014. Spells at Derby County, Middlesbrough, Fulham and Nottingham Forest (loan) helped Christie gain plenty of first team appearances in English football before he moved to New York Red Bulls in 2021.

Christie has been one of the MLS' best performers since joining and, with 31 caps to his name, is a serious contender to be included in John O'Shea's squad. His athletic ability and strong tackling ability makes him a reliable player to have as a right wing back.



Dennis Cirkin | 20 y/o | Houston Dynamo (USA | Major League Soccer)
International Caps: 12 | International Goals: 01

Much of Brady's hopes of making the Irish squad will depend on whether Cirkin is selected or not. The young full back, of a mixed Irish-English-Latvian nationality, came through Tottenham Hotspurs' youth system. A breakout season on loan at Sunderland in League One for the 2020/2021 season got people to take notice of the youngster's abilities. Cirkin has since been loaned out to Sporting Kansas City and current loan club Houston Dynamo to continue building experience.

Cirkin has been a recent regular for John O'Shea, with 12 caps to his name. Cirkin's well-rounded ability makes him a brilliant left wing back. Comfortable on the ball and with a bit of pace in the tank, Cirkin provides attacking prowess. Will he make the cut?



Seamus Coleman | 32 y/o | TSV Hartberg (Austria | tipp3-Bundesliga)
International Caps: 71 | International Goals: 01

Irish football legend Seamus Coleman was an honest man born in Killybegs, County Donegal. A shock move to Everton in 2008/2009 caught many Evertonians off guard but he quickly became one of the most reliable full backs in the Premier League. Over 12 seasons and 295 Premier League appearances later, Seamus Coleman left his beloved Everton in 2021 to join Dutch side Feyenoord. However, he struggled to get regular game time, and moved to Austrian side TSV Hartberg this season, where he has still struggled for game time.

The 71-capped Irish right wing back captained Ireland from 2016 before resigning from the role following last summer's European Championships. At the age of 34, Coleman's legs have well and truly gone, but he could still provide plenty of experience and leadership if he were to be called up.



Matt Doherty | 30 y/o | Real Sociedad (Spain | La Liga)
International Caps: 33 | International Goals: 03

Matt Doherty grew up in Dublin but earned a move to Wolves in 2010 where he made his breakthrough in British football. Loan spells at Hibernian and Bury helped aid the right wing back's development before he staked a claim for a first team spot at Wolves. He helped Wolves break from League One to the Premier League and played 302 games in all competitions for the Midlands club before joining Tottenham Hotspur in 2020. Following two seasons at the London-based club, Doherty moved to current club Real Sociedad in the summer just gone where he has since sparkled as one of the league's best performers this season.

With 33 caps to his name, Doherty is widely considered to be one of the first names on John O'Shea's team sheet. He will almost certainly start at right wing back. His attacking ability, in particular, has helped Ireland reach the World Cup and secure big wins over the likes of Croatia in recent years.



Ryan Manning | 26 y/o | Swansea City (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 03 | International Goals: 01

Ryan Manning was a product of Irish domestic football at Mervue United, based in Galway. He played 26 league games in the 2013 season before moving to Galway United for the following season. He continued to impress in Irish football and earned a move to QPR in January 2015, still as a teenager. Ryan Manning was a regular for QPR and moved to Swansea City in the 2020/2021 season where he continued to shine as one of the Championship's most consistent wing backs.

Despite having just 3 caps to his name, Manning's recent form may give him an edge over other left wing backs. Manning's game as a wing back doesn't have many weaknesses, and he is considered to be a recognised goal scorer.



Danny McNamara | 23 y/o | Doncaster Rovers (England | EFL League One)
International Caps: 02 | International Goals: 00

The 2022 World Cup may have come a year or two too early for breakthrough Irish player Danny McNamara. The young right-sided wing back came through Millwall's youth system and enjoyed loan spells at Welling United, Dover Athletic, Havant & Waterlooville and Newport County. McNamara struggled for game time at Millwall and moved to Doncaster in League One ahead of this season. He has since impressed in England's third tier and is being scouted by a number of Championship clubs.

McNamara has played just 2 games for Ireland, making his debut in March of this year, but is seen as a successor for Ireland's aging right wing backs. He may not be included in this tournament but will surely be a name on the team sheet for future tournaments.



Enda Stevens | 32 y/o | Sheffield United (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 36 | International Goals: 02

The last of the wing backs in contention is left-sided player Enda Stevens. Impressive spells at a number of Dublin-based clubs, most notably Shamrock Rovers, lead to Stevens earning a move to Aston Villa in January 2012. However, Stevens struggled for game time and, after loan spells at Notts County, Doncaster Rovers (twice) and Northampton, Stevens left for Portsmouth on a free transfer in 2015. Stevens impressed at the south coast club in League Two for two seasons, earning a move to current club Sheffield United in 2017. Stevens has been one of the first names on the team sheet ever since, playing a key role in the club's promotion and subsequent seasons in the Premier League.

Stevens is coming to the end of his Ireland career and, with 36 caps to his name, will be hoping to make the most of what may be his final international tournament. While the form of youngster Dennis Cirkin may raise questions over who starts at left wing back, Stevens will surely earn a place in the squad, at a very minimum.


FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview: Midfielders


02/11/2020

With the Republic of Ireland's squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar set to be announced later today, we take a look at potential inclusions in the squad. We'll delve into the international careers and the club form of John O'Shea's options.

Let's take a look at the Midfielders.



Luca Connell | 21 y/o | Celtic (Scotland | Scottish Premiership)
International Caps: 05 | International Goals: 00

Luca Connell is one of the midfielders among contention for a backup role in Ireland's World Cup squad. Born in Liverpool, the Irish playmaker broke through Bolton Wanderer's youth system to play 10 times in a memorable 2018/2019 Championship season as a teenager. The youngster's form, combined with Bolton's need to generate fund, earned him a move to Celtic the following summer. Connell played a lot of youth football for Celtic but spent 2021 on loan at Irish side Dundalk, where he starred as the best player in Ireland's top flight. Connell has spent this season back at Celtic but is yet to make a senior appearance.

Connell made his Ireland debut in October of last year and has played a total of 5 times for his country. A deep lying playmaker by trade, Connell's dribbling ability makes him a good ball carrier in the middle of the pitch, and he has impressed in Irish squads. He may not start but might be considered a squad option for Ireland in Qatar.



Dan Crowley | 25 y/o | Colorado Rapids (USA | Major League Soccer)
International Caps: 20 | International Goals: 02

Dan Crowley is one of Ireland's many players plying their trade in the MLS. The former Aston Villa and Arsenal youth player has appearances for Barnsley, Oxford United, Go Ahead Eagles, Willemm II, Cambuur, Birmingham and Hull City before he joined current club Colorado Rapids. The central attacking midfielder has been a star player in the MLS, scoring and assisting regularly for his club.

Crowley has 20 caps to his name and has been involved in every single John O'Shea squad. Crowley's not a preferred starter for Ireland but will surely be called up for this tournament.



Josh Cullen | 26 y/o | RSC Anderlecht (Belgium | Jupiler Pro League)
International Caps: 25 | International Goals: 02

Josh Cullen has become a fan favourite for the Irish. The West Ham academy product enjoyed loan spells at Bradford City (twice), Bolton Wanderers and Charlton Athletic (twice) before making a permanent move to current club Anderlecht in the Belgian top flight. Midway through his third season at the club, Cullen has played a key part in Anderlecht's side as a deep midfielder.

With 25 caps to his name, Cullen is not a novice in international football. He has become a reliable player for John O'Shea and is expected to be involved. His ability to win midfield duels, in particular, makes him a prized asset.



Jeff Hendrick | 30 y/o | FC Midtjylland (Denmark | Superliga)
International Caps: 53 | International Goals: 03

Jeff Hendrick's career has been one that has dwindled in recent years. The Derby County product made his league debut for the club in the 2010/2011 season and became renowned as a goal scoring midfielder in the Championship. After a number of highly impressive seasons at the club, Hendrick moved to Premier League side Burnley in 2016. He spent four strong seasons at the club before making a move to Newcastle United in 2020. However, Hendrick struggled for game time in the north-east of England and left for current club Midtjylland the following season. Hendrick has since been battling for regular football in Denmark and has sparkled at times, but has not hit the heights he did at Derby and Burnley.

Despite having 53 caps to his name, Hendrick has not been involved in any Ireland squad since John O'Shea's first in September 2020. The versatile midfielder is unlikely to be involved in any capacity in Qatar.



Conor Hourihane | 31 y/o | Blackburn Rovers (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 37 | International Goals: 01

Conor Hourihane was a product of Sunderland's youth academy but his breakthrough came following a move to Plymouth in 2011. He spent three seasons at the League Two club, playing almost every game, before spending three seasons at Barnsley. His form at Barnsley then earned him a move to Aston Villa in 2016 where his stock continued to rise. After five years at the Birmingham-based club, including one year out on loan at Swansea City, Hourihane moved to current club Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer where he has established himself as a key player in the EFL Championship.

With 37 caps to his name, Hourihane will be hoping his experience and recent performances will be enough to earn him a place in the squad. He's been one of the best deep lying playmakers in the Championship and his delivery from crosses, long passes and set-pieces makes him a creative force from just about any position on the pitch.



Jason Knight | 21 y/o | Derby County (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 28 | International Goals: 01

Dublin-born Jason Knight is a rising talent in football. Moving to Derby County as a teenager, he made his breakthrough in the 2019/2020 season and hasn't looked back. He's quickly become the best attacking midfielder in the EFL Championship, notching up an incredible 20 goal contributions last season as he was named the EFL Championship Player of the Season, and is being scouted by a host of Premier League clubs.

Knight has been a regular starter for John O'Shea, wheter as part of a central midfield two or as an attacking midfielder. Knight's passing range and ability on the ball makes him a threat, while his work rate also makes him a fantastic team player.



Michael Minhas | 18 y/o | Leeds United (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 01 | International Goals: 00

Michael Minhas (newgen) is widely considered as one of the most promising teenage midfielders in world football. The eighteen year old was born in Westport, Ireland, but moved to Leeds at a young age. He has come through the ranks at Elland Road and made his senior debut in a League Cup fixture this season.

Minhas made his senior international debut for Ireland last September and is expected to become a star for Ireland in the future. Primarily seen as an advanced playmaker, Minhas' passing range and incredible first touch has likened him to Manchester City star Phil Foden. This year's World Cup might be one tournament too early for the youngster but you'd better keep an eye out for this name in the future.



Jayson Molumby | 23 y/o | Brighton & Hove Albion (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 18 | International Goals: 01

Waterford-born Jayson Molumby came up through Brighton's youth ranks. Loan spells at Millwall, Preston and Portland Timbers have helped the young tenacious midfielder gain experience for a player who is now considered a rotation option for the Seagulls. His performances this season haven't been amazing but he's been a player known for focusing on getting the job done when it counts.

With 18 caps to his name, Molumby has plenty of international experience for his age. He's set to be called up to the squad and can play as part of a midfield two, either in a defensive capacity or as a more creative player.



Connor Ronan | 24 y/o | Hull City (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 21 | International Goals: 06

Connor Ronan is a player in demand at the moment. The Wolves youth player spent loan spells at Portsmouth, Walsall, Dunajska Streda, Blackpool, Grasshopper Zurich and Vancouver Whitecaps before moving to current club Hull City at the tail end of last season. Ronan's been in fine form for the Championship this season and has been scouted by a number of Premier League clubs, including Fulham and Brighton.

The 21-capped attacking midfielder has become a key player for John O'Shea's side. Ronan's ability to find the back of the net for Ireland has been a key factor in his inclusion, and he was a star player at last summer's European Championships.



Jack Taylor | 24 y/o | Peterborough (England | EFL League One)
International Caps: 04 | International Goals: 00

Last on the list, alphabetically, is Jack Taylor. The London-born Irishman came through Barnet's ranks and made his debut for the club in the 2016/2017 EFL League Two season. Taylor moved to Peterborough midway through the 2019/2020 season, with Barnet in the National League and Peterborough in League One, and instantly made an impact. Since signing for Peterborough, Taylor has been a star player from midfield and was voted the EFL League Two Player of the Year last season as his 15 goal contribution (goals & assists) haul from deep midfield helped his side back up to League One.

Taylor burst on the international scene only recently, making his debut for Ireland in September of last year. He could be seen as a rotation option for the Irish squad. However, playing in England's third tier may stand against him.


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1 weekEdited

FIFA World Cup 2022 Preview: Forwards


02/11/2020

With the Republic of Ireland's squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar set to be announced later today, we take a look at potential inclusions in the squad. We'll delve into the international careers and the club form of John O'Shea's options.

Let's take a look at the Forwards.



Parick Bamford | 29 y/o | Everton (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 00 | International Goals: 00

Patrick Bamford is one of the two English attackers on this list eligible for Ireland, without having played for Ireland at senior level previously. The Grantham-born striker was a Nottingham Forest youth player who moved to Chelsea for a modest €1.9M in the 2011/2012 season. Bamford enjoyed loan spells at MK Dons, Derby, Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Burnley before moving to Middlesbrough permanently in January 2017. Bamford got his big move to Leeds in 2018 and helped the Lilywhites back to the Premier League in 2020. After two reasonable prolific top flight seasons at Leeds, Bamford was loaned to Everton for this season, where he has featured as a backup.

Bamford hasn't played for Ireland or England at senior level, but has played for both at youth level. His preference is to play for England but is he is also open to playing for Ireland - a country he also holds in high regard. Will he be called up to either England's or Ireland's squad for the World Cup?



James Collins | 31 y/o | Luton Town (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 04 | International Goals: 01

James Collins is a player who might sneak his way into the squad based on form. The Coventry-born Irish striker came through the ranks at Aston Villa before moving to Shrewsbury in 2011. Collins was an excellent goal scorer for Shrewsbury, as well as other clubs including Swindon Town, Hibernian, Northampton and Crawley Town, before finding himself at current club Luton Town in 2017. The then-League Two side revelled with Collins' prolific scoring form for them, as Collins fired them to back-to-back promotions to the Championship. Midway through his third Championship season with Luton Town, Collins is the current top scorer in the league with 10 goals.

Collins has played 4 times for Ireland previously, but hasn't been called up since O'Shea took charge. He has 1 goal to his name at senior level and, if he were to be called up again, would surely add to that if he gets opportunities presented to him.



Aaron Connolly | 22 y/o | Brighton & Hove Albion (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 29 | International Goals: 12

Aaron Connolly is a must-start for Ireland. The Oranmore-born forward came through Brighton's youth sides and made his debut for the club in the 2019/2020 Premier League season. His stock in the senior team has risen since and his 19 goal haul in the Championship last season helped them back up to the Premier League. He has 4 goals in 9 Premier League games so far this season and is looking like he can go on to become an incredible goal scorer.

Connolly's been a regular for John O'Shea. His 12 goals in 29 Ireland games makes him the danger man going forward for Ireland. If Ireland are to do well in the World Cup, they will need their star attacker to find the back of the net as often as possible. The question isn't whether Connolly will start but who will start with him!?



Liam Delap | 19 y/o | Queen's Park Rangers (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 00 | International Goals: 00

Liam Delap is the second English attacker that Irish fans are hoping will change allegiences. Son of former Irish international Rory Delap, Liam moved from Derby County's youth team to Manchester City's in 2019. With 7 Man City appearances already to his name, Delap is considered one of the top young strikers in English football. He spent last season on loan at Everton, where he played 5 times in the Premier League, and is currently on loan at Championship side QPR, where he currently has 3 goals in 11 games.

Delap is a current England U21 international. He has scored 5 times in 12 games at that level and is seen as an inevitable star for the senior side. However, he is eligible for Ireland, and there is hope among the Irish that Delap switches allegiences.



Adam Idah | 21 y/o | Norwich City (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 14 | International Goals: 06

Adam Idah is another exciting young Irish striker. Born in Cork, and of Nigerian descent, Idah came through Norwich's youth academy. He broke into the senior squad in the 2019/2020 Premier League sides and has since played 60 league games for the Canaries across the Premier League and Championship, scoring 11 times. Idah currently plays second fiddle to starting striker Neal Maupay but has shown his worth from the bench, scoring 1 goal in 7 substitute appearances.

Idah's goal scoring form has been better for his country than his club. In 14 senior games, he has 6 goals to his game. His athleticism and his clinical finishing inside the box makes him a must for the squad.



Sean Maguire | 28 y/o | Sheffield Wednesday (England | EFL Championship)
International Caps: 10 | International Goals: 01

Sean Maguire was born in Luton but grew up in Ireland. 14 goals in 32 league games for Waterford across 2011-2012 earned him a move as a teenager to West Ham. He failed to break into the Hammers' senior squad and, after a couple of loan spells, moved back to Ireland with Dundalk and then Cork. Maguire made the move back across the Irish Sea to Preston in 2017/2018 season and performed well at Championship level. After joining current club Sheffield Wednesday, Maguire has scored 10 league goals in 42 games across one-and-a-half seasons as a wide forward.

Maguire has 10 caps and 1 goal for Ireland in the past but hasn't been featured in any squad since 2020. His current form hasn't been amazing but his versatility to play centrally our out wide and experience could see him as a potential candidate.



Troy Parrott | 20 y/o | Tottenham Hotspur (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 16 | International Goals: 04

Troy Parrott's name has been on the lips of Irish football fans for a long time now. Parrott moved from Belvedere to Tottenham Hotspur in 2017 and performed incredibly at youth level. Parrott made his senior debut for Spurs in 2019/2020 and was hailed as a wonderkid by manager Jose Mourinho. Parrott spent the following two seasons on loan at Ipswich Town and Swansea City, gaining valuable senior experience in England's lower leagues, but remains at Spurs this season, having played just once this season.

At senior level for Ireland, Parrott has played 16 times and scored 4 goals. Parrott is considered a very creative central attacker with incredible close control. He hasn't quite lit up the pitch with his performances but is getting closer and closer to being a top player.



Callum Robinson | 27 y/o | West Bromwich Albion (England | Premier League)
International Caps: 31 | International Goals: 06

Callum Robinson came through Aston Villa's youth academy and made his debut for the club in the 2013/2014 Premier League season. Following loan spells at Preston (twice) and Bristol City, Robinson joined the former on a permanent basis in 2016. Excellent performances as a winger, scoring goals for fun, earned Robinson a move to Premier League side Sheffield United for the 2019/2020 season. Robinson struggled to play regularly for the Steel City club and moved to West Brom the following season. He has since become a key player for the Baggies as a winger.

With 31 caps to his name, Robinson is a fairly experienced international. His 6 goals shows his goal scoring threat and, despite being a natural winger, is likely to start up front with Connolly. His pace and skill on the ball makes him a great counter attacking threat and a creative force going forward.


The End

It has been quite the journey, but unfortunately this story does come to an end. I would have liked to have written up the World Cup 2022 also, but I would have done so incredible frustration. We topped our group (somehow), before being knocked out of the first knockout round thanks to a 0-4 defeat to Germany.

A big thank you to all following this journey - it has been an enjoyable one. International management is a nice change of pace from club management in FM and offers different challenges. I recommend everybody at least tries their hand at international management, if they have never done so, to learn new skills that are transferable to club management.

The end.

You are reading "Amhrán na bhFiann".

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