John Giles believes Sunderland star James McClean should be included in the Irish squad for the European Championship finals.
“I wouldn’t necessarily believe in systems, I believe in players,” said the RTÉ pundit and former international player and manager, adding that the Sunderland winger has done enough to merit inclusion in the travelling panel this summer.
“I don’t think it’s ever too late for any player to make an impact. Mr Trapattoni said a few weeks ago the players who got us there deserve the chance. That wouldn’t be a policy I’d subscribe to. There’s no sentiment in football really. You pick the best team available.
“I think McClean is a top-class player and he’s going to get better. His attitude is good and he’s looked a very good Premiership player. And I don’t think it’s such a big leap [to the Euros]. You talk about young lads. Liam [Brady] played his first international against the USSR at 18 and he was like a duck to water.”
And Giles added he has no fear of burnout for a player who has been playing virtually non-stop since pre-season at Derry City some 18 months ago. “When you’re young like him, you’re well able to handle it.”
Giles, along with Paul McGrath, yesterday attended the launch of the 2012 Walk of Dreams at Aviva Stadium. Building on last year’s inaugural effort, which raised €360,000 for sports clubs and community projects. This year’s walk, on May 7, takes place at 20 locations nationwide.
nThe event is organised by the John Giles Foundation in association with the Irish team sponsors 3.
For information and to get involved, see www.johngilesfoundation.com or www.facebook.com/JohnGilesFoundation
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