Tuesday 20 February 2018

Trapattoni looks to build bridges but Foley not ready to return to Republic fold just yet

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

KEVIN FOLEY was keeping his counsel on his international future last night after refusing a call-up for next month's friendly with Serbia.

Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni got in touch with the Wolves man to let him know that he wanted him in the squad for the trip to Belgrade.

However, the versatile defender is still hurting from his last-minute ejection from the squad for Euro 2012.

He described it as a "betrayal" at the time, as management had indicated that he would travel once he recovered from a hamstring problem.

When Foley returned to fitness, he was dumped for Paul McShane, due to the latter's ability to also cover in central defence.

The manner in which it was handled upset the 27-year-old, who is unsure if he will report for another squad while Trapattoni is manager.

During his six years in the international set-up squad, Foley consistently turned up for duty, despite being repeatedly overlooked for inclusion.

After his initial heartfelt comments in the heat of the moment, Foley has declined to speak on the matter as he was uncomfortable with the level of attention that surrounded his exclusion.

He was also conscious of potentially providing another distraction for the squad ahead of the finals.

Now that the dust has settled, Foley remains torn over his next step.

Trapattoni wants to build bridges, but accepts why the player feels emotional.

"I called him," said Trapattoni. "I spoke with him. He said he is not ready. Sure, I understood him.

"He is a little bit sad. He answered me and said: 'It's okay, thank you. I'm not ready at this moment also. I am a little bit disappointed.'

"I understand him. It's no problem."

Foley is in Ireland this week with his Wolves team-mates -- they take on Bray Wanderers in a friendly at the Carlisle Grounds this afternoon.

It is unclear if the ex-Luton man will be willing to break his public silence.

Meanwhile, John Delaney is set to announce a pay cut to his €400,000 annual salary this afternoon.

The FAI chief executive is in Letterkenny for the Association's AGM and he has indicated that he will inform around 250 delegates that he is to take another wage reduction.

Last year, Delaney took a 7.2pc drop from the €431,687 he had been earning.

His salary -- double that of Taoiseach Enda Kenny and €151,000 more than President Michael D Higgins -- has been the subject of much discussion lately, but the FAI chief has hinted that he will reveal another cut today.

Irish Independent

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