Sport Soccer

Sunday 18 March 2018

Clifford gets Trap call-up

HE USED to be babysat by Glenn Whelan's fiancée, but today sees Chelsea rookie Conor Clifford link up with the Irish midfielder in Giovanni Trapattoni's senior set-up.

Clifford (19) was taken off at half-time of last night's U-21 win over Austria to allow him join the Ireland squad for tonight's game with Croatia. The Dubliner was taken aback when his U-21 boss Noel King delivered the news on his surprise elevation.

"I really thought Noel King was winding me up," said the playmaker last night, who spent loan spells with Plymouth Argyle and Notts County last season.

"He is always having a bit of a laugh. He said to me: 'Trap wants you.' My first words to him were: 'You're having a laugh.'"

"I know Glenn Whelan really well, because his fiancée, Karen Moore, used to babysit me, so Glenn looked after me."

He added: "Hopefully I can get a run-out but if not it's still good to be a part of it. It has definitely come sooner than I thought."

After tonight, Clifford plans to secure a loan move away from Stamford Bridge, possibly to Germany. "I'm looking to go out on loan as soon as I can. There are a few options. I just have to sit down with Chelsea and my agent and see what the best option is," he said.

"A lot of the Chelsea lads have gone on loan to Hamburg because of the Frank Arnesen connection. Michael Emenalo (Chelsea's technical director) stepped up within our club and he had a talk with our reserve manager. They want to get me out as soon as possible on loan."

Irish Independent

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