Forde insists 'it's early doors yet' in battle to be Ireland's No 1

Republic of Ireland's David Forde. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Paul Hyland

DAVID FORDE would be justified if he felt somewhat put out by the fact that he appears to be in a head-to-head battle with Keiren Westwood to be Ireland's first choice goalkeeper.

His work between the posts over the last number of months was good enough to suggest that he was in situ for the long haul but Martin O'Neill's appointment has placed a question mark over virtually every position in the team.

But Forde will start against Poland in Poznan tomorrow and he will most likely have more opportunities to prove his worth than Westwood had against Latvia. He's not reading anything into the fact that he gets the gloves for the second friendly presided over by the O'Neill regime.

"No, not at all, it's early doors yet. It is one game and I would not be getting too carried away. There is still a lot of time for the manager, it's early doors and he's trying to figure out what's what."


"Poland are a really good side. They have Lewandowski and some top players. They were unlucky like us not to qualify so it should be an interesting game. We are all trying to prove ourselves to the new management and it's an important time."

Forde knows that everything is back in the melting pot after Giovanni Trapattoni and that the new management team must stand on its own feet.

"It's their decision, at the end of the day I know what I have done for the side over the last year or so. I am very happy with my performances and I hope they continue to get better. They are in the game a long time and I'm sure they will assess what has gone on previously. Look, football is funny and that's in the past. I don't look at that anymore, the next game for me is what I concentrate on.

"That's what I am focused on. You look back at things, it's in the past. It's the next game that's important. Nothing's been said as it's the same for everybody. The manager is trying to get a feel for everything.

"He's trying to assess everything, whether it's the squad, the training ground, everything is being checked out. It's still very early at this stage."


Forde enjoyed his time working with Alan Kelly and his replacement, Seamus McDonagh also brings a wealth of experience and ideas to the table as goalkeeping coach.

"Seamus has been great, like all goalkeeping coaches, they all have their own ideas – things and different opinions and ideas on goalkeeping.

"You always learn something different and that has been important to me over the last few years. Now it's Seamus and I am looking forward to learning extra off him to improve me as a keeper. He has worked with some top class keepers down through the years and it can only be great for my development, hopefully."