Friday 19 October 2018

New recruit Shipley set for baptism of fire in Israeli heat

Ireland will need all the talent they can get as only victory today and again in Germany on Tuesday in their final qualifiers will salvage ambitions of reaching the finals next year. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Ireland will need all the talent they can get as only victory today and again in Germany on Tuesday in their final qualifiers will salvage ambitions of reaching the finals next year. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

John Fallon

Over the years, dual-eligible players have been unearthed by a variety of sources for Irish teams but an FAI press officer can claim credit for Jordan Shipley's enlistment.

Ahead of his debut today in Israel, Shipley outlined how former Coventry City media man Kieran Crowley alerted Ireland U-21 boss Noel King to his lineage through his late Cork-born grandparents.

Netting his international debut would crown a stellar year for Shipley. His sumptuous free-kick against Luton Town earned him the Goal of the Month award last October.

He went on to bag another vital goal at Wembley in the play-off final against Exeter City as the Sky Blues clinched promotion to League One.

Ireland will need all the talent they can get as only victory today and again in Germany on Tuesday in their final qualifiers will salvage ambitions of reaching the finals next year.

"I couldn't turn down the invitation when Noel got in touch to call me in," said Shipley from baking-hot Israel last night.

Rolling "My mam, Peggy Meade, is so proud of me getting the call-up. I never really thought about international football, be it with Ireland or England, until Kieran started the ball rolling.

"I was actually meant to come in last month for the qualifiers against Kosovo and Germany but got a dead leg just beforehand. I was just delighted to be asked in for this get-together and hopefully I can play a part in this vital game against Israel."

King's latest recruit through the granny rule looks set to be drafted straight into the starting team to replace Ryan Manning.

Manning was forced to withdraw after picking up an injury during his on-loan club Rotherham United's match at Birmingham on Saturday.

Cork City's Sean McLoughlin has linked up with the squad after featuring in the club's FAI Cup semi-final replay win over Bohemians.

IRELAND (Probable) - K O'Hara (Macclesfield Town); C Whelan (Crewe Alexandra), R Sweeney (Mansfield Town), S Donnellan (Yeovil Town), D Kane (AFC Flyde); J Cullen (Charlton Athletic), L Kinsella (Walsall); H Charsley (Everton), J Mulraney (Hearts), J Shipley (Coventry City); R Curtis (Portsmouth).

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