It became a recurrent theme, on John Delaney visits to 2,000 clubs during his 14 years as FAI chief executive, to conclude by reciting the salutary advice of his mother Joan about always bringing something for his hosts.
As the majority of the Irish squad for next month’s Euro 2020 qualifiers begin work at their training camp in Portugal today, Mick McCarthy says he has no fears that the 17-day-long run-up to the game against Denmark on June 7 will see any of his players fall victim to cabin fever.
It was entirely in keeping with John O’Shea’s self-effacing character and career-long commitment to the concept of the ‘team player’, that the elegant defender’s farewell address to the Irish supporters seemed to be about everyone but himself, writes
With Martin O’Neill’s position as Ireland manager moving closer to the brink than it’s ever been before over the last 48 hours, the question of who might succeed him — whether that’s sooner or later — has gained fresh momentum.
A couple of months after Martin O’Neill took a sabbatical from football management to help look after his then ill wife Geraldine, this writer interviewed someone who had played minor inter-county Gaelic football with one of O’Neill’s great foot soldiers at Parkhead, Neil Lennon.
Shay Given is Ireland’s all-time longest serving player, having played from 1996 to 2016, as he amassed 134 caps. His last competitive game saw him carried off injured in the famous 1-0 win over Germany. Now 41, he’s a free agent.
When Martin O’Neill named three uncapped strikers in his latest squad at a press conference in Dublin on Tuesday, almost lost in the discussion about Ireland’s need to locate a cutting edge was the manager’s low key reference to Kevin Doyle “suffering a bit from concussion”.