Republic of Ireland and Everton midfielder Aiden McGeady officially launched the McDonald’s FAI Future Football 2015 programme in Gannon Park, Malahide earlier this week, and he was kind enough to give Balls.ie a few minutes of his time.
McDonald’s FAI Future Football is a programme designed to support grassroots football clubs by enriching the work they do at local level. Over 10,000 boys and girls from 165 football clubs in Ireland will take part this year, generating 70,000 additional hours of activity.
Taking time out from a kickabout with the kids, McGeady spoke to Balls.ie about the upcoming friendly against England, and a number of subjects ranging from Ireland manager Martin O'Neill, to FIFA 15.
We asked him if he had any advice for Jack Grealish, considering McGeady himself recieved some stick back in Scotland for declaring for Ireland, and he suggested that Grealish should follow his heart:
The only advice you can give really is to do what you feel most natural with. If he feels most comfortable with the Irish set up, or he feels he may get more gametime, or whatever his reasons may be, that's the way I felt with Ireland after playing for the underage teams, when Scotland came calling at 17 or 18, my mind was already made up.
We also asked if Martin O'Neill had changed as a manager since the pair worked together at Celtic, and McGeady suggested that the Ireland boss has embraced analysis more since his very successful spell at Park Head:
He's probably a bit more hands on than he was at Celtic. We never worked on set-pieces or anything at Celtic, it was just go out and play basically, now he's a little bit more looking at the analysis side of the game and things we don't do, such as the Scotland game and the goal we conceeded from a set-piece, we've reviewed that a few times. He's probably a bit more hands on and a bit more mellow which probably happens with age.
Also interesting was McGeady's surprise when we informed him that he was the fastest player in the Ireland squad according to FIFA 15:
I don't play FIFA, I was always a Pro Ev man, but I don't have the time anymore. That's surprising [that I'm the fastest] though, I would have thought it would be Seamus Coleman.
So there you have it, EA Sports, give Seamus the credit he deserves!
You can listen to the interview in full below, where Aiden also talks about his families alligiance for the Ireland/Scotland game, and what Martin O'Neill would say if we were to ask him how McGeady has changed since his Celtic days.