Blow for Republic as Ferguson named in North’s squad

THE Republic of Ireland’s hopes of luring Newcastle’s Shane Ferguson across the border took a serious dent last night after he was named in Northern Ireland’s squad to face Serbia in an U21 match next Tuesday.

Although this would not rule him out of selection for the Republic as it is not a senior clash, it appears the clearest signal yet Ferguson is staying with the North.

The Newcastle defender has one Northern Ireland senior cap to his name — in a friendly against Italy two years ago — as well as nine U21 appearances, but is not tied to Northern Ireland because he has yet to appear in a competitive international.

His selection for Steve Beaglehole’s side comes despite a public falling out with the former senior manager, Nigel Worthington.

Before his exit last month, Worthington attempted to call up Ferguson to the full squad on several occasions during the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign but claims he was repeatedly unable to get in touch with the player.

That raised fears Ferguson was preparing to switch allegiance to the Republic but it now seems likely personal differences between the player and Worthington were the more likely reason.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox