Monday 17 December 2018

Zayed's Nations call

WHILE Ireland fight to book a place in a major tournament next summer, one Dubliner is in with a chance of figuring in January's African Cup of Nations.

Derry striker Eamon Zayed (right) has been invited to a training camp in Qatar in a couple of weeks' time as Libya prepare for an emotional tilt at the competition in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

Zayed, who qualifies through a Libyan grandfather, was called into the international set-up by Brazilian coach Marcos Paqueta just before the trouble in the North African nation escalated.

He won caps against Zambia and Niger.

The 28-year-old -- who is in talks with Derry about a new contract -- is part of a 23-man panel for the training camp that will also include some matches.

It's a huge opportunity for the prolific striker.

Keane off to the ball

ROY KEANE is sure to cause a stir when he is in Dublin this weekend for the PFAI's annual banquet at the Burlington Hotel.

The Corkman is doing Saturday evening's gig for free and is paying his own expenses for the players' union's big night.

Considering they have just kicked off a new sponsorship deal with watch manufacturer Tissot, it's good news for the FAI to expect a crowd in excess of 300 thanks to Keane's presence.

Naturally, the outcome of the first leg in Tallinn 24 hours earlier will be a massive talking point, and Keane's words are sure to carry extra weight if Ireland are in trouble.

Another interesting feature of the evening is the award for the Irish Overseas Player of the Year.

The shortlist comprises Richard Dunne, Shane Long and Wes Hoolahan and, with the latter much loved in league circles, he should poll strongly with many managers and players within the domestic game stunned by his absence from Giovanni Trapattoni's plans.

The PFAI are hoping that the Norwich midfielder will also be in attendance.

Estonian slang of day


A common term for a feeling of ecstasy. Hopefully, the natives will be using the word to describe the mood of the Irish masses after Friday evening's encounter.

Number of the day

157 Caps won by retired Estonian midfielder Martin Reim, the most experienced international never to play in a World Cup.

Reim currently manages Flora Tallinn -- who were knocked out of the Champions League by Shamrock Rovers in July.

daniel mcdonnell

Irish Independent

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