Red-hot Sheppard aiming to open paok door
KARL SHEPPARD has, quite literally, banged the door down in a bid to make a good impression on Michael O'Neill this week, WRITES DANIEL McDONNELL.
The young Shamrock Rovers striker, who was yesterday crowned Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month for October, accidentally locked himself into his bedroom in Portmarnock on Tuesday.
Sheppard was in danger of missing training so he escaped by smashing a hole in his door with a plank of wood that happened to be in the corner of his room.
"I'm not sure why it was there, but I took advantage of it," said Sheppard, who posted a picture of the damage on his Twitter account. "I had training in 10 minutes. It was the only way to do it -- I probably would have got fined."
The 20-year-old had good reason to be prompt. After scoring in Greece two weeks ago and impressing in the lone striker role, he has a strong chance of starting against PAOK this evening, with Gary Twigg an injury doubt.
While the ultimate emotion leaving Thessaloniki was disappointment, scoring in the group stages delivered another reminder of the platform which the Europa League adventure has given the League of Ireland champions. "I came home and saw the goal on Eurosport straight away," he recalled.
It has also alerted his former team-mates at Everton, who might have expected Sheppard to fall off the map when he was released by the Premier League club. Now, his career graph is heading in the right direction.
"Coming back to Ireland, certainly my head was a bit all over the place," said the Dubliner, who initially moved to Galway United.
"This has surpassed anything I thought could happen. It's been a good year this year and hopefully we can build on that."