Sunday 25 September 2016

'Future of Irish football does not lie with me' - Delaney

Published 20/08/2015 | 02:30

Eyebrows were raised yesterday after Delaney was omitted from the Irish squad for the Gibraltar and Georgia qualifiers in September
Eyebrows were raised yesterday after Delaney was omitted from the Irish squad for the Gibraltar and Georgia qualifiers in September

Crystal Palace centre-back Damien Delaney appears to have retired from international football after releasing a detailed statement on his 'Instagram' account.

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Eyebrows were raised yesterday after Delaney was omitted from the Irish squad for the Gibraltar and Georgia qualifiers in September, given he is one of the few Irish defenders operating in the Premier League.

There was some speculation that the reason Delaney was overlooked may have been down to differences he had with Roy Keane in the past.

In an English courtroom in 2011, when the Cork man was playing under Keane at Ipswich, he blamed his "unreasonable manager" for his speeding ticket because if was late for training, he would receive a fine.

Yesterday, he claimed that the "future of Irish football does not lie with me" which suggests that he has played his last game for Ireland and that his decision has nothing to do with Keane.

The statement read: "Good afternoon... I just want to clarify my position with regards to the Ireland national team and my omission from the current squad.

"I have no issue with Roy Keane and shook his hand this summer at a Cork City European match.

Rigours

"I know that at the age of 34 the future of Irish football does not lie with me, the rigours of premier league football and the 24/7 dedication required takes its toll so I look on the international break as a chance to recover, that said I spoke to Martin O Neill and contrary to his recent comments I never asked for a regular starting position.

"I did however disagree with certain aspects which out of respect to Martin and the national team will remain private. Ireland need to plan for the long term even if it means sacrificing one maybe two major tournaments.

"We need to build an identity and team ethos from schoolboy football to full international that will last. I understand people weren't enamoured with Mr. Trapattoni but whether you agreed with his philosophy or not you have to respect the man and the results he achieved with his philosophy.

"There are many footballing philosophies and we need to choose one that suits Irish traits and strengths best, similar to what Wales are now achieving or what Mr. Trapattoni achieved in his time in charge.

"I'll always be an ardent supporter and wish I could of contributed more... #coybig #identity."

Irish Independent

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