Sport Soccer

Thursday 23 January 2020

Green refuses to let ash cloud his Ireland dream

IT'S been 27 years coming, so Paul Green wasn't going to let a volcano further prolong the prospect of fulfilling his dreams of an international career, WRITES NEIL AHERN.

The Derby County midfielder made his first appearance in an Irish shirt last night against the Airtricity League U-23 side at Gannon Park.

The international call-up hasn't come easy for the former Doncaster man and he revealed he had further obstacles to overcome before appearing in Giovanni Trapattoni's starting XI last night.

"It's been tough, I was on a six o'clock flight from East Midlands; that got cancelled so I was told to get to Holyhead; that was a three-and-a-half-hour journey to there, then three and a half hours to Dublin.

"So it was a good journey to get here and I'm delighted to get the first game out of the way."

Green was reminded of the recent success stories of Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews, who both emerged from the Algarve training camp two years ago with their previously lowly reputations significantly enhanced.

"They're both great players who've done well and they've got to play for the team and I'm just happy to be in the training camp. You never know what could happen from there," he enthused.

Everton defender Shane Duffy, meanwhile, has admitted that his international career is still up in the air after the IFA brought the case of his switch of allegiances to the Court of Arbitration, but he revealed he may know more about his situation this Friday.

The towering centre-half started for the Irish senior side at Gannon Park last night and turned in a dominant display.

His international career is unclear at the moment after he switched his allegiances from Northern Ireland to join Trapattoni's training squad, but he expressed his contentment with his first appearance in the green of the Republic.

"I thought it was a good experience, and playing alongside Paul (McShane) and Darren (O'Dea) he helped me a lot," he said.

"I had good talkers beside me and I felt we were comfortable enough in defence.

"I don't know the actual story at the moment (with international clearance) but I should find out on Friday. We'll see what happens."

His defensive partner O'Dea spoke recently of his frustration at still being regarded as an up-and-coming prospect despite being on the scene for a number of years and he was happy with his display alongside Duffy in Malahide.

"It was just a little chance to show the manager what we can do in a match situation. They did very well. I thought they were very good and they gave us a good test.

"It was a good chance to show the manager what we can do. It's a completely different environment to training. Nothing compares to playing games and they certainly gave us a game. It was fantastic."

Irish Independent

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