Harry Arter reveals how Harry Redknapp kick-started his Ireland career
Harry Arter made his competitive debut for Ireland yesterday, and he had a helping hand from Harry Redknapp.
Arter replaced the injured James McCarthy in Ireland's 1-0 win in Vienna last night, and produced a solid performance on his debut.
The Bournemouth midfielder is friends with Redknapp and his family, and revealed that the former Spurs boss introduced the 26-year-old to Martin O'Neill in 2014.
"I have been friends with Harry Redknapp and his family for many years and I saw Harry walking across the car park at Fulham with Martin O’Neill back in 2014 and I had to go an introduce myself," he told Yahoo Sport.
"It was a chance meeting, but it turned out to be very useful because it gave me a chance to tell the manager about my ambitions to get into the Ireland squad.
"The manager was fully aware that I qualified through my grandparents and that I had played for Ireland at junior levels, but I think the meeting helped.
"He came to watch me at Bournemouth a few weeks later and when he announced the next Ireland squad, I got my first call-up. It all happened very quickly after that first meeting. It is funny how these things work sometimes.
"I’m not sure if that car park encounter helped, but hopefully he could see how desperate I was to play for Ireland".
Arter has been in inspired form for Bournemouth in the Premier League, and revealed that he wants to become the best player in the Premier League.
"I want to try and become the best player in the Premier League. That might sound ambitious, but it should be the aim for every player."