Posts Tagged ‘ Greg Cunningham ’

Four Uncapped Players In Irish Squad For Poland Clash

jhNorwich City’s Anthony Pilkington has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad to face Poland next month.

Pilkington, a standout performer in the Premier League this season had been capped at Under-21 level back in 2008. The decision to call up the 24 year old will go down well with fans who feel it should have happened a lot sooner. Continue reading

Irish Aim For Italian Scalp

REPUBLIC of Ireland under-21 team manager Noel King believes his side have the character to cause a surprise when they host leaders Italy in Monday’s UEFA U21 Championships qualifying Group Seven fixture at the Showgrounds, Sligo (3.00pm). 

Coached by former Juventus star Ciro Ferrara, the Italians have won all five of their fixtures in the qualifying group but face an Irish side that has won three successive games at the west of Ireland venue. 

“Italy have won this competition five times before and having studied them closely I would say they are as good as any team I’ve seen at this age group,” said King. 

“They will rightly believe that they have a chance of winning this competition outright in Israel next summer and have very talented attacking players but we need to keep that out of our minds and focus on the job at hand. 

“If we do everything in our power to win this game then I believe we can get another victory in Sligo, where we’ve developed an excellent relationship with the local football community.”

Italy’s striking options include AC Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy, Manolo Gabbiadini of Atalanta, Siena’s Mattia Destro and Chievo’s Alberto Paloschi. 

With Hungary beating second-placed Turkey on Friday, the Irish could leapfrog the Turks if they secure the three points tomorrow. 

“That result could be good for us but that will only be the case if we take advantage of it,” said King. 

“Everybody is fit and we’ve been together since before the Denmark friendly last week so we’ve prepared well and with the support of a packed Showgrounds I believe we are ready to produce a good performance.” 

Republic of Ireland U21 squad: Ian McLoughlin (MK Dons), Aaron McCarey (Wolves), Mark Connolly (Unattached), Shane Duffy (Everton), Greg Cunningham (Manchester City), Niall Canavan (Scunthorpe United), John Egan (Sunderland), Kevin Long (Burnley), Jeff Hendrick (Derby County), Eunan O’Kane (Torquay United), Richie Towell (Unattached), Aidan White (Leeds United), Conor Clifford (Chelsea), Conor Hourihane (Plymouth Argyle), Sean Murray (Watford), Samir Carruthers (Aston Villa), Ronan Murray (Ipswich Town), James Collins (Shrewsbury Town), Rhys Murphy (Unattached), Robbie Brady (Manchester United).

Young Irish Abroad #5 Greg Cunningham

20 year old Galway native Greg Cunningham is the first player to feature in the series “young Irish abroad” that has been capped for Giovanni Trappatoni’s Ireland.

The young star has resurfaced as an emerging young talent following a serious injury picked up at the start of 2011. The Manchester city left full back fractured his tibia while on loan at Leicester City. At the time he had shown much promise playing twelve games, until being ruled out for 4 months.

For Cunningham, who began his career with Mervue United, the emergence of Stephen Ward as an Ireland regular has been a disappointment for him, as Ward has all but sewn up that role for the European Championships. The former Mervue star is currently on loan at Nottingham Forest, and is in a consistent run of form, starting the last seven on the bounce. He is a good strong naturally left footed full back, and can play left midfield also. His relative youth means he is a definite star in terms of the future, but his experience in Trap’s set up, having played three times since his debut against Algeria in the RDS. His recovery back from a bad injury also shows a battling quality and determination which is to be admired in any player.

Cunningham, who is 21 in the new year, knows that it will be difficult to shuffle his way back into Trapattoni’s plans before the EURO 2012 squad is announced “It would be brilliant to even get the attention of Mr Trapattoni over the next few months, of course I would love to play in the finals like every Irish player,” Cunningham said speaking to the Evening Herald arlier this year. “It’s going to be very difficult for any of us young lads to get into that squad but I want to make it hard for the manager to not pick me, that means doing as well as I can for Forest — or Man City if I go back there when the loan is up in the New Year.”

Like previous players in the series, he will find it very difficult to get into the squad, but will strive to be there none the less.

Coleman Rewarded With New Contract

Talented Irish winger Seamus Coleman has signed a new four year contract with Premier League side Everton.

Coleman, who joined Everton from Sligo Rovers in January 2009 has been awarded for his outstanding form this year, which has earned him rave reviews. The E60`000 that the Toffees paid to Sligo for the Donegal native is definitely one of the best Premier League bargains in recent years.

The Killybegs native has found the net five times this year, and will take on a more significattn role at the club now that influential midfielder Stephen Pienaar has been sold to Spurs.

Coleman has been called into the Ireland squad on one occasion but has yet to be capped. Irish manager Giovanni Trappatoni  was dealt with criticism in some quarters for not fielding Coleman in the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Russia and Slovakia.

Coleman, who helped guide Blackpool to the Premier League while on loan there last season, is bound to receive more chances to wear the green shirt in the not too distant future. His form combined with Greg Cunningham`s leg break and Kevin Kilbane`s move to League One side Huddersfield Town should see the caps begin to pile up for the rising star of Irish football.