Thursday, January 28, 2010

James McCarthy 'scotches' rumours of Irish exit

James McCarthy has 'scotched' recent tabloid rumours that he may be interested in representing Scotland, rather than Ireland.

McCarthy has represented Ireland at under 18, under 19 & u21 levels.

In a message posted on the Ireland football forum You Boys In Green, McCarthy mentions how it would be a dream to be selected to play in the Ireland senior squad and it would create great pride within his family, should he manage to make it into Giovanni Trapattoni’s starting eleven. He also thanked Ireland fans for their support and encouragement.

19 year old McCarthy has recently broken into the Wigan side and scored on his way to a man-of-the-match display in a 4-1 win over Hull City and his manager feels he can now kick on and become an established player within the Premier league.

"He showed on Saturday that he is ready. We all know James is going to be a big star in world football," the Wigan boss said.

"He has been working very hard and lately you could see he was ready in training and on Saturday he showed that he was ready to enjoy his football and ready to win games for Wigan."

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Celtic move for Ireland's Marc Wilson

Celtic have launched a loan bid to take Portsmouth defender Marc Wilson on loan for the rest of the season.

Tony Mowbray is keen to land the former Ireland under-21 international for the second half of the season.

The Hoops were also in for Arsenal defender Philipe Senderos but believe he is now out of their reach and have now turned their attentions to Pompey’s young Irish rising star Wilson.

Celtic wouldn’t have a chance of landing the County Antrim born 22-year-old under normal circumstances but they are hoping Portsmouth’s horrendous financial predicament will allow them to push the deal through.

Contact has already been made and the early indications are that the Premiership strugglers would prefer to sell rather than loan out their £2.5 million-rated star.

Wilson, who can play anywhere across the back or as a holding midfielder, is a regular in Avrum Grant’s team but would consider a move to the SPL as the financial uncertainty continues over his South Coast club.

The latest takeover has seen Portsmouth fail to pay their wages on time and they have also been banned from signing any players until they pay of all their outstanding debts.

Wilson, who has made 18 top-team appearances this season, has been as Portsmouth for four years after he quit Manchester United’s youth academy.

His impressive recent from for Pompey has brought him to the attention of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni and Wilson may figure in Ireland's European Championship campaign, which starts later in the year.

It’s a far cry from the early years when he started his football career with the under nines at Lurgan Town and went on to play for the under 10s and under 11s.

His displays in the Lisburn League caught the eye of a Manchester United scout and he travelled over with other youngsters for coaching.

Up until 15 he was with United but then was told he did not make the height needed although since then he has grown to six feet two inches.

Then a West Ham scout, who was a good friend of Harry Redknapp, recommended Marc to Harry who had taken over as manager of Portsmouth.

Despite attracting interest from other clubs such as Blackburn, Sunderland, Tottenham and Middlesboro Marc was impressed with the set-up at Portsmouth.

In July 2004 he signed for the club and it was on September 24, 2008 he made his Premiership debut against Chelsea.

An all round player who can play anywhere he was marked down as a central defender by the former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams during his time at Portsmouth.

Last season was plagued by injuries but now back to full fitness Marc has established a place for himself in the first team squad, making 24 appearances this season.

During his early years he was also an accomplished gaelic player with the St Mary’s club in Aghagallon and the school teams.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ireland to face Brazil at the Emirates

The FAI today confirmed that Ireland will play Brazil in a friendly at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, March 2nd, subject to final approval.

Kentaro, the international sports promoter involved with the fixture, announced the Emirates as the venue for the friendly. Kentaro are expected to announce kick-off time and ticket details next week.

Kentaro, who have staged a number of Brazil matches at the north London venue previously, including matches against Italy, Argentina and Portugal, had been in talks with Arsenal football club for some time while the FAI had been negotiating with the GAA.

Croke Park had been interested in staging the game, and stadium director Peter McKenna expressed his regret that the match was being taken abroad yesterday, but the final decision was Kentaro’s to make.

“I would love for the game to be at Croke Park in Dublin,” explained FAI chief executive John Delaney. “But Kentaro have the European rights for Brazil . . . we’ve been invited to play the game but had no input into where the game was staged.

“It would have been nice to play the game in Croke Park, it would probably have been our last game in Croke Park, but it’s not to be.”

Ireland’s recent games in London, against Colombia and Nigeria, have attracted rather modest crowds but Brazil have filled Arsenal’s 60,000 seat venue on each occasion that they have played there.

Giovanni Trapattoni’s side will also take on Argentina at the new Lansdowne Road on Wednesday, August 11th.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

James McCarthy ready for the Premiership

Roberto Martinez believes Ireland U21 international James McCarthy is ready to play a big part for Wigan in the second-half of the season.

The 19-year-old signed from Hamilton in the summer having been tracked by some of Europe's biggest clubs since the age of 16.

However the midfielder has had to remain patient so far this season with just two appearances to his name before the FA Cup clash with Hull City.

Martinez decided to give the Ireland international only his second start of the season against the Tigers, a decision that was vindicated when McCarthy scored on his way to a man-of-the-match display in a 4-1 win and his manager feels he can now kick on.

"He showed on Saturday that he is ready. We all know James is going to be a big star in world football," the Latics boss said.

"He has been working very hard and lately you could see he was ready in training and on Saturday he showed that he was ready to enjoy his football and ready to win games for Wigan."

Martinez revealed that McCarthy was beginning to get frustrated with his lack of first-team opportunities but the former Swansea manager saw that as a good thing.

"When you get frustrated it is because you are ready to play," he added.

"Sometimes you get a big move into the Premier League and with the change of environment it is very different and sometimes you lose the focus on your game.

"It was a big move for him as a young man when he came down from Scotland as it was the first time he had moved away from his only club and that takes time.

"It is important we help the youngsters - and every player that comes to Wigan. James has had the period he needed to settle in and now he is ready to play football and enjoy it.

"When he does that I'm sure the fans will enjoy it too."

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Darren McCauley makes Celtic move

Derry City have agreed to allow their Ireland u19 international midfielder, Darren McCauley, to join Celtic on loan for a period of six months, the Derry Journal has learned.

The 18 year old midfielder, who joined his home town club on an amateur contract, has been attracting interest from quite a few cross-Channel clubs and is understood to be anxious to take advantage of such a move.

McCauley impressed during a trial with Blackburn Rovers last season but with the Premiership club not prepared to meet their responsibility under the UEFA Under-23 Agreement, that move fell through.

In addition, it's believed the Waterside man had also been attracting attention from clubs such as Ipswich Town and SPL representatives, Hearts, but transfer negotiations failed to materialise.

McCauley made his international debut last September when he impressed Sean McCaffrey during the Clarion Hotel Four Nations Tournament trophy in Dublin.