Sport Soccer

Friday 22 September 2017

The day Kelly roar saved his blushes

EVERY time Ireland face a minnow, there is inevitably a nostalgic recollection of the infamous scoreless draw in Liechtenstein back in 1995.

Ireland goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly was the only player in green to escape humiliation. "I kept a clean sheet," he joked, when reminded of it.

Kelly acknowledged that Liechtenstein had only one shot on target and he vividly remembered a story behind it. "I think it was the 73rd minute – I can't remember his name. He came down the right wing, to the corner of the box.

"I could see that he was absolutely shaking in his boots so, when he got closer, I just screamed 'MAAAAA' (an angry roar). His knees were knocking and he was absolutely gone. He smashed it straight at me."

It's probably the only happy memory that an Irish visitor took from Eschen-Mauren.

FORDE EAGER TO HANG ON TO THE NO 1 JERSEY

With marriages and injuries leaving a certain degree of mystery hanging over the travelling party to New York for next Tuesday's friendly with Spain, David Forde and James McClean made it clear that they would be travelling.

McClean has never been to New York before and is determined to build on the experience of a brief Euro 2012 cameo against the world champions.

"Spain at the Yankee Stadium is nice to have on your CV to look back on," said the Derry man.

Forde has a slight injury issue this week – as have the goalkeepers over his shoulder (Keiren Westwood and Darren Randolph), who will be desperate for game time. But after finally becoming Ireland No 1, Forde has no desire to step aside.

"I'll be on the plane," he said. "I was long enough waiting for the chance to get involved with Ireland."

Number of the day

8 Members of the current Faroe Islands squad who play their club football outside their quaint homeland. Four are based in Denmark, three are employed in Norway and the other lines out in Iceland.

Quote of the day

"The grass was that long we couldn't see him."

Alan Kelly in jocular form when asked about his memories of a teenage Robbie Keane's first training session with the senior squad in the AUL.

Irish Independent

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