Wednesday 22 November 2017

Poland v Ireland Diary


James McClean, Republic of Ireland
James McClean, Republic of Ireland
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

The FAI and Martin O'Neill were speaking last week about introducing social media guidelines and, in that context, James McClean picked the wrong time to offer views on the 'Belfast Telegraph' yesterday morning.

McClean (above) was having a chat with friends when he delivered some forthright opinions on his perception of the newspaper's political leanings.

His ex-Derry team-mate and current Northern Ireland international Danny Lafferty got involved in the public chat and, while it was clearly a casual chat between pals, it was visible in public and some of the words used could have posed difficulty for the Wigan winger in a different context.

McClean was outstanding against Latvia and doesn't need negative publicity to drag him back; it's clear that he would benefit the most from a clampdown.

The FAI had no official comment to make on the McClean tweet but have indicated they will be looking at the manner internally. It may present O'Neill with the kind of question he could do without this evening.



DAVID FORDE has a positive memory of Martin O'Neill from his teenage years, a tale which was brought to light by his former manager at Galway United, Don O'Riordan.

When O'Neill brought Leicester City to Galway for a pre-season friendly in 1998, the game clashed with the final of the U-18 European Championships in Cyprus – where a Brian Kerr-managed side inspired by Robbie Keane were on their way to glory. The final with Germany went to extra-time and penalties, which overlapped with the scheduled kick-off time in Galway.

O'Neill was so interested in developments that he was happy for his game to be delayed and the radio commentary played over the tannoy.

"I think he delayed the game by 45 minutes," recalled Forde yesterday.

"That was great as one of my best mates at the time, Ryan Casey, scored the first penalty against Germany. He (Martin) had it all happening, he had a big influence and he was certainly interested in it."



After being given some free time on Saturday, which saw a large number of the squad pop along to watch the rugby, the players had to report back to their Portmarnock base by 11.0pm ahead of yesterday morning's training session.

However, they didn't overdo it at Gannon Park with the 10.0am session wrapped up and completed within half an hour. The real preparation work for the Polish encounter will take place in Poznan this evening.


14 Members of Ireland's Euro 2012 squad that are part of the travelling party to Poland this week. They are O'Shea, St Ledger, Doyle, Keane, Green, Ward, Kelly, Forde, Walters, Westwood, Long, McGeady, Whelan and McClean.

Irish Independent

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