Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Kane set for Irish switch

DERRY lad Eunan O'Kane is on the verge of becoming the latest footballer to switch allegiance from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland, WRITES DANIEL McDONNELL.

The Torquay United midfielder has represented the North at U-21 level, but has indicated a desire to represent the south.

O'Kane wasn't involved for the North's U-21s against Faroe Islands last week because of his impending switch.

He is a former Everton trainee, and is following the same path of former team-mate and fellow Derry man Shane Duffy.

This completes a bad month for the North, who lost another Derry lad, James McClean, after he made his big-money move from Derry City to Sunderland.

The Irish Football Association (IFA) are powerless to prevent Northern-born players from switching their allegiance unless they have lined out at senior competitive level.

Ireland internationals Darron Gibson and Marc Wilson also wore Northern colours in the underage sphere before making their move.

O'Kane was released by Everton two years ago and returned for a spell with Coleraine in the Irish League.

His performances there garnered cross-channel attention, and he put pen to paper with League Two side Torquay last year, where he has become a regular.

Irish Independent

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