Paul McShane has scored a thunderbolt in Ireland training

Ireland may be short on attacking options, but Martin O'Neill probably wasn't expecting Paul McShane to be the man to put up his hand for a forward role, writes Stephen Barry.

With injuries to Jon Walters and Sean Maguire limiting Ireland's options, the manager would've been hoping to see fireworks from Shane Long, without a goal since February 2017, or Daryl Murphy, who is returning from a heel injury.

Instead it was Reading captain who lit up social media with a left-footed thunderbolt.

What a strike from Paul McShane in training today! #COYBIG

A post shared by FAIreland (@faireland) on

McShane hasn't played a competitive minute for Ireland since Thierry Henry's 'Hand of Gaul' handball incident against France in the 2009 World Cup play-offs, where McShane took some flak for being the nearest player to Henry.

However, he could provide back-up for an Irish back-four which all are carrying the possibility of suspension should they pick-up a yellow card in the play-off first leg against Denmark.

John O'Shea and Paul McShane. Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ireland are also without the injured Seamus Coleman and Richard Keogh in defence.


Related Articles

England more likely to win World Cup than Argentina or Belgium, says study

Indian fans buying more World Cup tickets than English - despite India not qualifying

Almost half of England football fans believe the team should boycott Russia 2018 - survey

More in this Section

Atlanta striker set to break MLS record after goal against Columbus Crew

Football rumours: Liverpool's Karius linked with Anfield exit

Novak Djokovic completes Masters set with win against Roger Federer in Cincinnati

Limerick star Kyle Hayes named All-Ireland hurling final Man of the Match


Today's Stories

A finale in keeping with a season to remember. With Limerick the last men standing

If Joe Canning’s free had gone over for a draw...

Puckout precision crucial to Limerick’s victory

A train of thought on hurling’s biggest day

More From The Irish Examiner