Thursday 8 December 2016

'I'll do all I can to play in the Euros'- Injured Ireland star Harry Arter determined to be fit for France

Published 17/04/2016 | 13:40

Bournemouth and Ireland midfielder Harry Arter
Bournemouth and Ireland midfielder Harry Arter

Harry Arter has admitted his dream of securing a place in the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 squad is hanging by a thread, with his fate set to be revealed in the coming days.

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Bournemouth midfielder Arter had an injection in his damaged Achilles last week in a bid to play again in this Premier League again this season, but he has admitted the prognosis on the injury that halted his bid to play in Ireland’s friendly internationals last month is unclear.

An operation may eventually be required to solve the problem that is putting Arter’s Euro 2016 in jeopardy, but the 26-year-old will do all he can to force his way into O’Neill’s plans before going under the knife.

“I flew over last month to try and play in the friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia, but it was in hope as much as expectation,” Arter said in an interview with the Sunday World.

“The truth was I could hardly walk on the Achilles and there was never going to be much chance of me playing.

“I was desperate to get over to Dublin and hope against hope that I would wake up in the team hotel on the first morning of training and there would have been at miraculous recovery.

“The Bournemouth lads that were not involved in international matches headed off on a trip to Dubai as we had a break in the Premier League, but I skipped the trip to show how much I wanted to be a part of the Ireland squad.

“In the end, I couldn’t play. It was a big disappointment, as I knew it could have been a last big chance to try and get into the Euro 2016 squad.

“I don’t need to be told that I am fighting to get one of the last places in the final 23. Plenty of players assured of their places and rightly so because they were crucial in getting us to Euro 2016 and the rest of us are just pushing to make the final cut.

“Hopefully the manager and his staff appreciate that I am doing everything I can to get fit for this summer.

“My aim is to try and play the final two or three Premier League games of the season for Bournemouth see if that is enough to get me a chance with Ireland at the Euros.”

Arter’s passion to make a breakthrough his adopted country burns through in his every word, with this English-born midfielder cursed by misfortune in his first year as an Ireland player.

“I seem to have had little injuries every time Ireland games comes around,” he continues.

“Even when I made my debut last summer, I was struggling with a groin problem ahead of the game and it was a case of strapping it up as tightly as possible and hope I wouldn’t feel it when I played.

“It was not ideal, but it was England at the Aviva Stadium and my first international cap was there for the taking. I had to do everything to play in that game.

“Then I had a problem that ruled me out of the first few months of last season and now this Achilles injury is troubling me, but I have played 20 successive games this season and I wouldn’t want to be seen as a player who struggles with injuries.

“We have to manage this problem correctly because I have had an issue like this before and it can get a lot worse if you do more damage to the tendon.

“That said, I want to do all I can to play at the Euros this summer.”

Arter expects to discover whether the injection he had a few days ago to resolve his injury problem has had desired affect in the next week

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