Sport Soccer

Tuesday 25 July 2017

Forgiven exile Treacy hails manager for forgetting past

Neil Ahern

BEING thrown into international exile twice is hardly a record Keith Treacy expected to hold before he reached the age of 21.

But the Ireland winger, who moved to Preston from Blackburn last February, certainly doesn't seem like the stereotypical modern footballing brat. And in Giovanni Trapattoni, he believes he has now found a manager that will bring him back into the bosom of Irish football for good.

During his time as an U-21 international, Treacy had two fallings-out with then-manager Don Givens -- the first due to his absence from a friendly match and the second for allegedly breaking a team curfew.

But speaking ahead of tonight's friendly against Argentina, in which he is expected to make an appearance, Treacy praised Trapattoni's attitude in forgetting about the past and taking the Dubliner at face value.

"I think that Trap has been a bit more professional about it. I've come over on occasion, even if I've been announced in the squad, I come over and told him 'listen, I can't make it, I've got injuries' or 'my club has an important game'.

Injuries

"He's been really professional about it, he's taken it on the chin, he's taken it well and hopefully I can stay injury-free and play for Ireland as much as I can," said the former Belvedere youth.

"It was (a worry that a stigma would be attached). I thought that all the stuff that came up with Don, something might spill over to the senior team. Trap has taken me on my word and I'm delighted there has been no spin-off from that.

"(Trapattoni) knows I'm not messing the FAI about and I am genuinely injured or if there is a bereavement and I can't come across, he knows that I'm not messing about and I do want to play for Ireland."

The Italian has previously spoken in glowing terms about Treacy and now the Preston man wants to repay his manager's faith with a push into the senior panel.

"I'm delighted he keeps talking to me: there is a backward and forward, I've had a few chats with him even when I'm not in the squad.

"He's always kept me in mind. I'm very grateful for that. Hopefully I can get a couple of minutes on Wednesday and show him he was right to stick by me."

Irish Independent

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