THE FAI fear that Chelsea's new teenage star Patrick Bamford - who had been capped by Ireland at U18 level - has been permanently lost to the English national team.
Chelsea spent £1.5m on transfer deadline day to bring striker Bamford to the club from Nottingham Forest, and while Bamford will have to bide his time in the Blues reserves before he earns promotion to the Chelsea first team squad, Chelsea are delighted to have Bamford - rated as one of the best teenagers in England - on the books.
"My goals here are simply to progress as a player, develop and hopefully one day to go on and train with the first team," Bamford said after his move.
Bamford qualifies for Ireland through the parentage rule and played for the U18s in a friendly tournament in the Czech Republic in August 2010.
But that was his last appearance in the green shirt and just four months later Bamford was playing for England's U18s against Poland, in the same English side as current Arsenal star Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Current Ireland U19 manager Paul Doolin does not expect to see the £1.5m man back in the green shirt. "We will wait and see what happens but it looks like he has gone with England," Doolin said.
McGeady faces Hansson again
AIDEN McGeady has become the first Irish player to come face-to-face with controversial referee Martin Hansson since Ireland's World Cup exit at the hands of France in Paris. The Swedish official was in charge for a pre-season game in Spain in the Copa Del Sol tournament between Spartak Moscow and Rosenborg yesterday, McGeady starting in a 1-1 draw for Spartak.
- AIDAN FITZMAURICE