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Mason's a Cardiff hit

IRISH U21 cap Joe Mason is making waves in Wales after scoring his fourth goal in six games for Cardiff City.

Mason, 20, was hailed as the hero by Cardiff after scoring the only goal of the game in a win over Nottingham Forest.

"Joe Mason is probably a little unfortunate not to be playing more than he is at the moment. But he's a great lad and has got great potential," said Cardiff manager Malky Mackay.

"He's someone we have high hopes for, though we're making sure to treat him carefully in terms of the coaching he gets.

"I'm delighted for him, it was a smashing goal, he's a goal threat and his header was sublime."

Mason joined Cardiff from Plymouth in the summer and qualifies for Ireland through the parentage rule as his mother is from Mayo and his older brother, Anthony, was also capped at underage level.

He played his first game for Ireland in an U19 international against Slovakia in 2009 and has since been capped three times at U21 level.



Noble has no Irish interest

There's one less bandwagon-jumper ahead of the Euro 2012 finals as West Ham midfielder Mark Noble said he has no interest in declaring for the Republic of Ireland.

The 24-year-old, who has scored three goals for the Hammers this season, had played for England at underage level and even played for England against Ireland in the U21 fold, but he has been linked with a move to the Irish set-up through his Drogheda-born grandparents.

But the Hammers star said: "I am eligible as my grandparents are Irish. I've been asked before and held out. I still have hopes of playing for England and getting back into the Premier League, and I still believe I can do that.

"We will see, you never know what the future holds."

-- AIDAN FITZMAURICE


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