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Pick Irish based players Stan October 5, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.

Not having jumped on the recent Irish football bandwagon that is already calling for Steve Staunton’s head, I think I might be slightly changing my mind if recent squad selection is anything to go by. Forget the defeat to Holland – it was a pre-season friendly where we were outclassed on and off the pitch. The defeat in Germany, one could argue, was unlucky because we did deserve a draw and the goal the Germans got was wickedly deflected.

So Staunton announces his squad for the next two games and a few days later finds himself with up to 9 withdrawals for one reason or another. So what does he do ? He calls up two unknown players from the lower divisions in England and ignores the claims of home based talent to get a chance. All things going well, League of Ireland players would find it hard to get into the international setup – but it has happened and they were used as backup by Brian Kerr when injuries depleted the squad. But not with Staunton.

Take Saturday’s opposition – Cyprus. Their champions Apollon Limassol were knocked out of the Champion’s League by our own Cork City – and some of the Cyprus squad playing on Saturday play in the domestic Cypriot league. It doesn’t look good or indeed say much for Staunton’s opinion of domestic Irish football when in times of crisis and considering the opposition, he opts for players from Brentford, Luton and Coventry as opposed to Derry City, Shels or Cork.

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