Football

7 Irish Players That Are Facing Into A Very Important Pre-Season

7 Irish Players That Are Facing Into A Very Important Pre-Season

Pre-season brings a fresh start for players ahead of the new season.

Some will use it to cement their status in the side ahead of the upcoming campaign, while others will use it as an opportunity to find moves elsewhere.

Here are seven Irish players that will be facing into a pivotal few weeks.

James McClean

There had been some simmering tensions between James McClean and Stoke City towards the end of last season, something that now seems to have come to the fore after the club returned for pre-season training.

Manager Michael O'Neill was not happy when McClean joined up with Ireland for the March international window despite not having played for a month beforehand due to injury. He would then miss the vast majority of the remainder of the league campaign, only to join up with Ireland once again in June.

The winger has not been included in the club's pre-season squad for a trip to Northern Ireland and has been stripped of his preferred squad number of '11' and handed the '30' jersey as well.

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A move will be a priority for the player in the coming weeks, although it remains to be seen who is interested in the 32-year old.

Troy Parrott

It's fair to say Troy Parrott's two loan moves last season did not work out the way he would have hoped. His time at Millwall was a bit of a disaster, and while he would start to find his feet towards the end of the campaign, his spell at Ipswich Town was hardly the most fruitful either.

The 19-year old is back at Spurs for pre-season. You'd imagine it's unlikely he will be given much first team football in North London and will likely head out on a temporary switch once again.

This one needs to be the right fit. Parrott has to find a club where he will receive consistent playing time in his favoured position, not being shoved out on the wing like he was at Millwall.

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It will be crucial for the next step in his development.

 

Adam Idah

Adam Idah is in a bit of an awkward spot at Norwich City.

He is clearly seen as a big prospect and a current part of their first team setup. However, he has also been unable to get any sort of regular playing time as he remains behind Teemu Pukki in the pecking order.

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The Cork native made one Championship start last season, although his campaign was admittedly affected by covid and injury issues.

He needs to use the pre-season to gauge where he stands heading into the new campaign. Will he get more playing time, something he desperately needs at 20-years old?

If not, a loan move could make sense for all involved.

Shane Duffy

What next for Shane Duffy? After a disastrous loan move at Celtic, the defender is back at Brighton for pre-season.

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It's difficult to see him having any future at the club, meaning a move needs to be sorted as soon as possible. A deal early in the summer would allow him plenty of time to settle in at his new side, something that he seemed to struggle with in Glasgow.

There has been little indication as to where he could end up as of yet, although a reunion with Chris Hughton at Nottingham Forest would certainly make a lot of sense.

Jamie McGrath

St Mirren are determined to hang onto Jamie McGrath this summer. Their manager Jim Goodwin confirmed yesterday that the club have already turned down a number of offers his services.

From the player's point of view, a transfer makes a lot of sense. McGrath is ready to take the next step in his career, with his 17 goals from midfield last season proof of what he could bring to a better team.

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A number of sides in Scotland and England have been linked.

Conor Coventry

At 21-years old, Conor Coventry has more U21 international caps than he does first team appearances in his career.  That is not something that is really acceptable for a player of his talents, one who has largely been left to rot in West Ham's U23 side.

A brief loan spell at Lincoln City apart (which was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic), he has not had any consistent run of first team football up to this point in his career.

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That needs to change.

The next few weeks should be spent scoping out his standing at West Ham. The added fixtures that come with their Europa League berth could provide some extra opportunities, but even that may not be enough for the young midfielder.

If David Moyes cannot offer some assurances about his place in the side, a loan or permanent move should be sought.

Matt Doherty

Matt Doherty may have been handed a lifeline at Spurs this summer.

His time at the club looked as though it was petering out to a depressing conclusion towards the end of last season. He was out of favour under both Jose Mourinho and Ryan Mason, while he was largely derided by the club's supporters.

However, the arrival of Nuno Espirito Santo as manager will give him an opportunity to shine. The wing back thrived under the Portuguese boss at Wolves and should do so once again if a similar system is used at Spurs.

Pre-season is the perfect opportunity for Doherty to get back on track, with his familiarity with the new manager giving him an advantage over his teammates.

SEE ALSO: Here Are All Of The Irish Transfers That Have Been Completed This Summer

Gary Connaughton

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