'I knew it was so wrong' - Goalkeeper David Forde reveals drinking culture during his time with Ireland
Goalkeeper David Forde has revealed that he and his team-mates regularly drank alcohol while on international duty with the Irish team.
Forde has won 24 caps since 2011, when he became the oldest player to make their competitive debut for Ireland at 33 against Sweden. Forde slipped down the international pecking order during the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, and was released by Millwall at the end of last season after they gained promotion to the Championship.
This week the 37-year-old was a guest on the Second Captains' 'The Player's Chair' podcast with Richie Sadlier, with Forde revealing that he has been alcohol-free for over threes year now.
He also described the atmosphere in the Irish camp when he first broke in under Giovanni Trapattoni, claiming that the players regularly indulged in alcohol.
"When I first got into that [Ireland] team, I knew it was so wrong," Forde said of the amount of drinking done by the players.
"I knew that behaviour was wrong. Deep down I knew this isn't actually right here, what we're actually doing.
"You came into that environment and all of a sudden you could feel the difference, the cross-culture between the management and the players. I mean that by the likes of Trapattoni and Tardelli, you know? They literally said 'if you're having a drink tonight lads have a glass of wine or two glasses of wine' or whatever... You say that to an Irishman, to an Irish team, or to me when I was younger... It was like 'I'll have 10 pints'.
"We just didn't take responsibility for that, and understand that we've actually got a duty and a job to do here, for our nation. That's the space I was coming from.
"But because I just wanted to fit in and be part of that group, I was so desperate to be in it, I actually betrayed certain parts of myself. So there was parts of me where I thought, Jesus, I was so angry with myself for allowing myself to partake in that, but I just wanted to be one of the lads."