October, 1974, Dublin. Wavy haired 18-year-old Liam Brady is thrust into the spotlight by player-manager John Giles at a pulsating Dalymount Park and plays his part is one of our finest-ever victories. Brady, Keane, Duff – Martin O’Neill says Jack Grealish is not ready but he wouldn’t be our first teenage star.
In a brilliant good news story, Celtic and Aston Villa legend Stillyan Petrov is back playing football with a Sunday League team with his leukaemia now in remission.
While the Irish U21s crashed out of Euro qualification with this month’s defeat to Montenegro, one player lit up the Tallaght Stadium with his performance. Jack Grealish could be the Republic’s successor to Damien Duff, writes Dave O’Grady, host of the YBIG Football show.
Is Shay Given’s potential international return dead and buried after Middlesbrough failed to extend his loan period? The Irish shot-stopper will return to Aston Villa at the end of February and will likely see out the season on the bench.
It’s a big year ahead for Irish players looking to impress a new management team. Martin O’Neill has spoken of unearthing a hidden gem while some more established names will be hoping to make a bigger impact than they did with Giovanni Trapattoni. We could also see some new faces in the Irish set-up with a big second half to the season coming up ahead of the beginning of Euro 2016 qualifying in September.
He’s the highly-rated winger who’s lined out for Ireland since U-15 level but such have been the performances of Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish that England came calling. Believed to have considered a switch in allegiances, in a massive boost to the Republic, the 17-year-old has accepted a call up to Noel King’s U21’s for this week’s Euro qualifier. After an exciting pre-season where he’s appeared for the club’s senior side, Shelley Osborne of Villa supporters’ site My Old Man Said takes a closer look at the rising Irish star.
Shay Given has answered Ireland’s call and made himself available once more for international selection but Giovanni Trapattoni has issued a cautious welcome in another sign that the Italian may be embracing change.
Sat disconsolate, arms barely propping himself up on the Stade de France turf, Richard Dunne was joined by the villain of the piece, Thierry Henry. ‘The Cheat of St Denis,’ as dubbed by George Hamilton, offered his hand to the Irish colossus, a recognition of the heartbreak he and his countrymen had visited upon the gallant Irish in Paris in 2009. As fate would have it, are the two to be reunited as team-mates at New York Red Bulls?
He sat ringside at London’s ExCel Arena. Around him, thousands of green-clad Irish were in raptures creating a cauldron of noise as Ireland’s sporting superstar, Kate Taylor, powered to Olympic gold. As he hangs up his gloves, trying to replace Shay Given could prove a knock-out blow to our future qualifying hopes.
…to appear on Goals on Sunday