Where Are They Now: The Ireland Team From Giovanni Trapattoni's Final Game

By Gary Connaughton

This year will mark the tenth anniversary of Giovanni Trapattoni's departure as Ireland manager, with the Italian ending his half-decade stint in charge of the side back in 2013.

His tenure was an up and down one. He brought the nation to Euro 2012 and to the verge of the 2010 World Cup, providing some memorable moments along the way. However, his style of play was dire to watch and the team's only major tournament appearance under his tutelage was a disaster.

By the time the 2014 World Cup campaign was coming to a close, it was clear that Trap's time with Ireland was nearing its end.

His final game came against Austria in September of that year, a 1-0 defeat in Vienna that ended any qualification chances.

The team on that day was a mix of Ireland legends and some less familiar names. A decade on, here's what they are up to now.

The Ireland team from Giovanni Trapattoni's last game

David Forde

David Forde acted as first choice goalkeeper for much of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign, starting all but two of the fixtures in that group.

At that point, he looked like he had the position nailed down moving forward and was the no. 1 at the start of the Euro 2016 qualifiers. However, a resurgence from Shay Given and the arrival of Darren Randolph on the international scene ensured this was short-lived. Forde would not play a competitive game for Ireland after 2014.

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After a long spell at Millwall, he would eventually hang up his gloves in 2019 after a stint with Cambridge United. Since retirement, the Galway native has moved into psychology.

He is currently the Head of Psychology at the Crystal Palace academy and has filling a similar role with Ireland under Stephen Kenny in 2021. Many of his responsibilities revolve around helping players deal with online abuse.

Seamus Coleman

One of only a handful of the starting XI from this game that is still playing, Seamus Coleman was only really getting into his stride at international level during this period.

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Of course, he would go on to become captain of both Everton and Ireland, positions he still holds to this day.

He is coming towards the end of his career at 34-years old, although he is still a hugely influential figure for his club and international sides.

John O'Shea

Despite being 32-years old at the time of this fixture, John O'Shea would continue at international level for another half decade before retiring in 2018.

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At club level, he spent the majority of the rest of his career at Sunderland before spending one season at Reading. He quickly moved into coaching after retiring, taking up a first team job at the latter.

He became part of Jim Crawford's coaching staff with the Ireland U21s in 2020, a role he is currently juggling with a position at Stoke City. We have also seen the Waterford man move into punditry in recent times, making a number of appearances on Premier Sports' Premier League coverage.

Richard Dunne

Richard Dunne retired from international football at the end of this campaign, although his club career would continue for another couple of years. He eventually hung up his boots after two seasons at QPR, with his spell at the club featuring both promotion and relegation from the Premier League.

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He has taken steps into coaching since then, although he has yet to be handed a high profile position. He was linked with the Bohemians job late last year.

Dunne has become a fixture on our television screens in recent years, appearing on both Virgin Media and Premier Sports.

Marc Wilson

At only 26-years old during the time of this fixture, many would have expected Marc Wilson to rack up quite a few more Ireland appearances in the years that followed. While he was in and around the international side until 2016, he would earn only 25 caps in total.

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That was largely down to injuries and drop off in form at club level. After leaving Stoke City in 2016, he took in stops at West Brom, Sunderland, and Bolton.

Now 35-years old, Wilson is still playing professionally. He spent last season as a player/coach at Icelandic club Knattspyrnufélagið Þróttur, where he linked up with former Portsmouth teammate Hermann Hreiðarsson who was manager. The Antrim native followed him to another Icelandic club in ÍBV last year, where he is still playing now.

Jon Walters

Jon Walters would go on to establish himself as a key player for Ireland in the years that followed this fixture, playing huge roles in the Euro 2016 and 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. He retired from international duties in 2018.

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Injuries plagued him during towards the end of his career, with the forward making only a handful of appearances for Burnley and Ipswich Town after leaving Stoke City in 2017.

Since hanging up his boots he has moved into coaching, spending time with the Ireland youth sides.

In December, he was announced as the new technical director at both Fleetwood Town and Waterford FC, with the two clubs sharing strong links.

 

James McCarthy

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James McCarthy became a key player for Ireland in the years that followed this fixture, although injuries have severely limited his impact in recent seasons.

Having suffered a number of ailments during his latter days at Everton, he suffered somewhat of a renaissance after a move to Crystal Palace. That spell included a return to the Ireland team.

However, he has had very little football since his move to Celtic in 2021 and looks unlikely to add to his 43 Ireland caps in the near future.

Paul Green

A player that Ireland supporters never really took to, the game against Austria would prove to be Paul Green's final competitive appearance at international level. He appeared in a handful of friendlies under Martin O'Neill, the last of which came in 2014.

The end of his international career coincided with his release from Leeds United, with the midfielder going on to have spells with Rotherham United, Oldham Athletic, and Crewe Alexandra in the English Football League.

Green spent the last few seasons of his career playing in Non-League football, moving to Boston United in 2020 and even having a spell as their caretaker manager last year.

Having moved to Worksop Town last summer, he would retire from playing duties back in November at the age of 39. He has since taken up a coaching role at Doncaster Rovers.

Anthony Pilkington

Anthony Pilkington's time in an Ireland shirt was not a lengthy one. This was only his second cap, having made his debut against Sweden a few days prior.

They would prove to be his only competitive appearances at international level, although he did feature in six friendlies over the 18 months or so that followed. He made his final Ireland appearance in the friendly against Slovakia in 2016.

Pilkington earned his international honours after an impressive Premier League spell for Norwich City in the 2012 and 2013, although he never really hit those heights again in his career. He spent most of the years that followed in the Championship spending time five years at Cardiff City before a short spell at Wigan Athletic in 2019/20.

The winger would spend one season in India with East Bengal, before returning to English football with Fleetwood Town in 2021. He retired back in October at the age of 34.

Robbie Keane

This campaign marked the final one for Robbie Keane as an automatic starter for Ireland, finding himself in and out of the side for the Euro 2016 campaign. In saying that, he would manage to add a few more goals to his personal tally and eventually finish up 68 strikes for his country before retiring in 2016.

The forward would also leave LA Galaxy around that time, spending one season in India with ATK, even acting as the club's player/manager for a time.

Since moving into coaching, he has had spells with Ireland under Mick McCarthy and as Middlesbrough's assistant manager under Jonathan Woodgate. Of course, he would spend much of the last couple of years in dispute with the FAI over his contract after Stephen Kenny opted not to keep him on his coaching staff.

The Dubliner is very keen to take on his first management role in the near future and has been linked with the Portsmouth job in recent days.

Shane Long

Shane Long is still motoring along in his career, moving to Reading last summer to bring to an end his eight-year spell at Southampton. He has featured on a few occasions for Ireland under Stephen Kenny, although it is unlikely that further opportunities will be forthcoming at 35-years old.

Still, he showed last weekend that he is more than capable of producing at club level.

Substitutes

Ciaran Clark

Ciaran Clark made his international debut in 2011, going on to earn 36 caps for Ireland. There were periods where he was considered as a first choice centre back in the team, although he could never quite nail down a place in the side for a prolonged period.

At 33-years old and with some promising players in his position emerging, it is likely his Irish career is over after his stinker against Luxembourg in 2021.

At club level, Clark has actually put together a very impressive season. Having fallen out of favour at Newcastle following their Saudi takeover, he has been a key player for Sheffield United in recent months as they took a dominant position in the Championship promotion race.

James McClean

Still a big part of Ireland's squad, James McClean was still in the early days of his international journey back in 2013.

His form in green has been in green has been very consistent over the last decade or so, although he probably would have hoped to spend more time at the top level in club football when you consider the impact he made during his early days at Sunderland. The Derry man has spent only three seasons in the Premier League over the last ten years, all of which came at West Brom.

Now at Wigan Athletic, he is still performing to a very high level.

Conor Sammon

Conor Sammon's time in international football was fleeting. The striker earned nine caps for Ireland, all of which came in 2013. He scored zero goals.

Since then, he has played for ten different clubs. The Dubliner bounced around various clubs in the EFL, including the likes of Derby County, Ipswich Town, and Rotherham United.

He returned to Scotland in 2016, where he taken in stops at Hearts, Kilmarnock, and Falkirk to name but a few. He is currently at Alloa Athletic, joining the Scottish League One club in 2021.

At 36-years old, he probably has another couple of seasons in him yet.

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