Babb, Martin back 'impact player'
FORMER Ireland internationals Phil Babb and Mick Martin hailed Giovanni Trapattoni's U-turn on James McClean -- and Babb called for the young Derryman to get a run against the Czech Republic next week, WRITES LIAM KELLY.
Babb only got a call-up to Jack Charlton's squad in November 1993 and ended up playing in USA 94, so he's well aware of the impact a 'newbie' can have at the top level.
Martin, ex-Newcastle and based in the north east of England, is a member of Trapattoni's scouting team and has watched McClean's development with great interest.
The two former professionals were in Dublin yesterday to launch ESPN's forthcoming English and Scottish live TV offerings .
Babb believes McClean has a lot to offer Ireland: "He adds a different dynamic. I think McClean could be an impact player coming off the bench, or he could even be in from the start."
And Martin is also a McClean admirer. "He's got what good wide players have, he wants the ball. He can cross the ball, he's got an eye for a goal and he's very fit and agile. I'm delighted he's been given the opportunity," he said.