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12 'Granny Rulers' That Are Eligible For Stephen Kenny's Ireland Squad

12 'Granny Rulers' That Are Eligible For Stephen Kenny's Ireland Squad
By Gary Connaughton
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Ireland have a long history of 'granny rulers' starring in the team. The practice of recruiting players born overseas has helped build the backbone of our team since the Jack Charlton era.

This has continued into the current squad, with Stephen Kenny open to bringing on board any eligible player that wishes to represent the country. Below are a number of players he may well consider.

We need to be clear here in that we are not saying all the players mentioned will want to play for Ireland. In fact, it is very unlikely in a few cases. Nonetheless, all are eligible to do so.

However, some of them have already declared their intention to pull on the green jersey.

Marcus Harness

Let's start with one that is very much already in the works.

Many people were surprised to see Marcus Harness with the Ireland squad for the UEFA Nations League game against Bulgaria, with their having been previously no indication that the Portsmouth winger was in the Irish fold.

He was unavailable due to injury on that occasion, but should be in contention for a place in the squad for the March internationals. The 24-year old has scored five goals and registered five assists in League One this season.


He certainly has plenty of time to make an international breakthrough.

Patrick Bamford

We know you're probably sick of hearing Patrick Bamford mentioned in the same breath as Ireland, but it would remiss of us not to mention him here.

The Leeds United striker has been in brilliant form this season, notching 11 goals in the league. That has led to calls for him to be included in the England squad, with the player himself suggesting he would be delighted to receive one.


We can probably close the book on any potential Ireland career.


John Joe Patrick Finn

An incredibly exciting young player at Getafe, Ireland have already made their approach to convince John Joe Patrick Finn to represent the country. The 17-year old held a meeting with Stephen Kenny and Jim Crawford recently, with the Irish U21 boss believing it had gone well.


Finn was born in Spain to an Irish father and Cameroonian mother, and with him also being eligible to represent England, he certainly has no shortage of options on the international stage.


Liam Delap

The son of former Ireland international Rory Delap, Liam has made a first team breakthrough at Manchester City this season.


The striker is one of the most highly rated youngsters in the Premier League, but having represented England through the various age groups up to this point, there seems little chance that he will follow in his father's footsteps in pulling on the green jersey.

It would be a major coup if the FAI managed to convince him to come onboard.

Callum O'Hare

A product of the Aston Villa academy, 22-year old Callum O'Hare joined Coventry City on a permanent deal last summer following his release from the Premier League club. He has been an ever present in the Championship this season, scoring two goals in 28 appearances.

The attacking midfielder has previously been capped by England at U20 level, but he is also eligible for Ireland. He played GAA in his childhood with local team John Mitchels GAA in Solihull, also the former club of one Jack Grealish, suggesting he has reasonably strong Irish roots.


There has been little update on his international ambitions.


Jordan Shipley

Another Coventry City player, Jordan Shipley has previously been capped by Ireland at U21 level. Despite this, the Warwickshire-born midfielder is rarely mentioned as an option for the Ireland squad.

That shouldn't be the case, with the 23-year old putting in some excellent performances in the Championship this season. What's more, he has already expressed his desire to break into the senior setup.

Harvey Neville

Another young prospect with a famous footballing father, Harvey Neville raised eyebrows by lining out for the Ireland U19 side in 2019.

The son of Phil Neville, the Manchester United youth team player qualifies for the country through his mother Julie. While it has been speculated that he will switch to England in the future, he has yet to do so.

The 19-year old right back has been putting in some excellent displays in the United U23 side, recently producing this assist in a 6-4 victory over Blackburn Rovers.

Nathan Redmond 

Nathan Redmond has been capped by England at senior level, but given that it was in a friendly game, he is still eligible to play for Ireland thanks to a connection on his mother's side.

That solitary cap came in 2017, and while he was included in one of Gareth Southgate's provisional squads last year, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the 26-year old could reconsider his international future if more opportunities with England are not forthcoming.

Will Keane

The twin brother of Everton and England defender Michael, Will Keane has declared his intentions to line out for Ireland in recent times.

He has yet to be selected however, with the Wigan Athletic striker scoring only 12 leagues goals since 2016.


Dan Crowley

Another player who has declared his ambition to play for Ireland having previously lined out for England, although there had previously been doubts about his eligibility to play for the country.

These issues now seem to have been resolved, with the now Hull City midfielder saying last month that he believes all FIFA required paperwork has been completed.

It remains to be seen if he can fight his way into Stephen Kenny's plans, with the 23-year old having struggled for form at Birmingham City before leaving the club in January.


Liam Kelly

Having previously turned down a call-up to the Ireland squad under Martin O'Neill, Liam Kelly has now set his sights on lining out for the nation on this side of the Irish Sea despite previous suggestions he could pursue a career with England.

He was closely watched by Mick McCarthy after joining Feyenoord in 2019, but has since found himself back on loan at Oxford United in League One. He has made 25 appearances for the club in all competitions this season.

Greg Docherty

A name you rarely hear linked with Ireland, but Scottish-born Greg Doherty is eligible to represent the country. The 24-year old Hull City midfielder has represented the nation of his birth at underage level, but said as far back as 2017 that he would be open to pulling on the green jersey.

He has since been capped by Scotland at U21 level, but has not featured for them since 2018.

SEE ALSO: Dundalk Winger Finally Completes Ireland International Switch

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