Tuesday 6 December 2016

'I strapped it, took painkillers and prayed I'd be okay' - Harry Arter on Euro 2016 heartache

Published 08/06/2016 | 20:58

Harry Arter
Harry Arter

Republic of Ireland international Harry Arter has opened up about the injury which robbed him of a place in Euro 2016.

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The Bournemouth midfielder put in a man-of-the-match display in Ireland's 1-1 draw with the Netherlands last month and looked destined for a place in Martin O'Neill's 23-man squad for France.

Unfortunately for Arter, he picked up an injury ahead of the Dutch clash but played through the pain to impress and ended up doing further damage and he was ultimately forced to return to his club and was omitted.

"I went away fully fit and I felt great," Arter told the Bournemouth website.

"I was just looking forward to try and impress and get into the squad. I’m not saying I definitely would have been included, but I had positive chats with the manager so it was really disappointing I couldn’t make it.

"The game against Holland was a massive chance to prove myself that I could play at this level, I hadn't started for Ireland before that game but I was pleased with my performance.

"I suffered the injury the day before the friendly, I just kicked a ball in training and felt my quad go.

"But I didn’t want to say I was injured, I wanted to prove myself so I strapped it up so tight and took painkillers, praying it would go away.

"I did feel better after the game, but when I trained on the Monday it was quite apparent I wouldn’t be fine. As soon as I went for the scan I knew I wouldn’t make it.

"I couldn’t go to the tournament with an injury, professionally, it would have been unfair on the squad, the manager and there would be no point as I wouldn’t be doing myself justice. It was tough to take.”

Roy Keane spoke in glowing terms about Arter after the squad had been named and earmarked him as a very big player for Ireland in the future and the Corkman clearly made an impression on the Cherries player.

"Both Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill were really good with me," he continued.

"I had a good 20-25 minute chat with Roy and it was really beneficial for me. I’ll keep our conversation private but I have huge respect for him, I grew up admiring him and obviously I’d listen to anything he had to say.

"He said some nice things in the press afterwards about me which was nice to read and I had a similar chat with Martin O’Neill.

"Again, I won’t say what he said but I'm hungry to get back playing for my country and while I'm disappointed to miss out, I'm looking forward to the future."

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