Sunday 25 February 2018

Meyler draws on the Cork connection to forge ahead

David Meyler
David Meyler
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

David Meyler left Cork City seven years ago, but his passion for the FAI Cup finalists remains undimmed by time or the different level of football at which he now plies his trade.

Meyler has tasted the highs and lows of Premier League football and played in an FA Cup final since he was signed from Cork City for £90,000 by Roy Keane for Sunderland in 2008.

A spate of injuries disrupted his progress on Wearside but a move to Hull City brought a new impetus, and that FA Cup final against Arsenal in 2014.

Meyler (26) will always be grateful to two fellow Cork players - Keane and Colin Healy - for their contribution to his career.

The current Ireland assistant manager opened the door to English football by buying Meyler from Cork, and Healy, still a squad member of the Rebel side which has reached the FAI Cup final, also had a strong influence.

"Colin was very good to me. He showed me the ropes and helped me become a better player and a better person so I've huge respect for him," said Meyler.

"He played in England, he played for Ireland, so he's a man I looked up to when I first stepped out with Cork City."

If his schedule permits, Meyler will be at the Aviva Stadium on November 8 to watch Cork City play Dundalk in the FAI Cup decider.

His immediate priority is, of course, Germany in tomorrow night's big game.

The circumstances are similar to an extent in that Seamus Coleman is injured, leaving a vacancy at right-back.

Myler did the job last time against the Germans in Gelsenkirchen and would be happy to slot in there again.

"Sometimes you've just got to do what you've got to do for the team. Seamus was injured at the time so I needed to step in and play," he said.

"I had Jonny Walters in front of me, and John O'Shea alongside me to coach me through the game.

"Luckily enough we got out with a draw, and it was a good performance by the team."

Luck was maybe a factor, because Germany only led 1-0 as the game went into injury time, but pluck, heart, and the courage to have a go late in the match typified the Irish performance.

John O'Shea's equaliser in the 94th minute rewarded those characteristics of the display by the men in green, so Meyler is hoping for more of the same at the Aviva.

Hopefully the fans will turn up in huge numbers to roar on the team," he said.

"The crowd support will be a huge factor. I hope it's a full house. It does help us."

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