IT HAPPENED so quietly that many fans failed to notice, but the Irish presence at Wolverhampton Wanderers FC became even stronger last week when Limerick lad Anthony Forde made his first-team debut for the club, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.
And the experienced Kevin Foley is certain that Irish teenagers Forde and Matt Doherty, who both played in last week's Carling Cup win over Northampton Town, will become permanent fixtures in the side.
Former Bohemians man Doherty had already made the breakthrough as he made his debut for Mick McCarthy's side in an FA Cup tie last season.
But Forde is now the latest addition to the list, amazing progress for the man from Ballingarry -- where he was a nifty hurler as a kid before he packed that in to concentrate on soccer -- as he's still only 17.
"The young lads have done very well for the club," said Foley. "Anthony Forde is superb, he can play anywhere across the midfield, he has so much ability and is great on the ball.
"Matt is another one who has come through again this season, he's a very good right back, he rarely gives the ball away and is very solid.
"I like watching him play -- though I call Matt 'Jedward' because he looks like the lost triplet from the Jedward brothers," Foley joked.
"They both have a great attitude and I can see them being big players for Wolves and for Ireland into the future."