Frozen out at Manchester City, winger Karl Moore was Ireland's outstanding player as an Irish XI secured third place at the FIFPro Winter Tournament in Oslo yesterday, writes Philip O'Connor.
The side, put together by PFAI general secretary Stephen McGuinness and managed by Liam Kelly, claimed third place following a narrow defeat to Finland and a victory over Sweden.
"As a team I thought we did very well, we gave a really good account of the league. We were better than Finland and far better than Sweden," said Moore, who attracted plenty of attention from the dozens of Scandinavian scouts and coaches in attendance.
His performances on the left wing for Ireland also won the praise of former St Patrick's Athletic player Kelly, who coached the Irish team.
"I thought he was fantastic, he's been absolutely different class," said Kelly. "We've been asking the lads to get him the ball as soon as possible because we know that when he gets it, he's going to deliver."
Released by City last summer after a serious back injury, Moore played the second half of the season at UCD but has since struggled to find a club.
"You'd think with Manchester City on your CV you could at least get a trial at a club, but they're not prepared to have me over, even if I pay my own flights. I've been in touch with loads of clubs but they're just not interested, they just don't have the finances to strengthen their squads," he said.
The FIFPro tournaments are organized by the international players' union to give out-of-contract players a chance to put themselves in the shop window and secure a club for the coming season. Given that all four teams competing play summer football, it represented a last chance for many to find a club before the season starts.
"A successful tournament for us would be one player with an offer," said McGuinness. "The worst-case scenario is that we bring them back six weeks fitter and having had experience of seeing what the standard is like in Scandinavia."
Also on show were Bohemians defender Brian Shelley, currently in dispute with the club over unpaid wages, and Eamon Zayed, who netted eight times in 25 games for Sporting Fingal last season.
But it was Moore who caught the eye and having spent six seasons in Manchester, moving abroad to further his career holds no fears for him.
"It wouldn't bother me. Obviously it depends what the club is, but I just want what's best for my career and my development at this point."
If his performances at the tournament are anything to go by, it won't be long before a Scandinavian club offers Moore a second bite at the cherry.