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Irish U19 Boss Says FAI Didn't 'Break Any Rules' By Recruiting Northern Ireland Starlet

Irish U19 Boss Says FAI Didn't 'Break Any Rules' By Recruiting Northern Ireland Starlet
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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A much discussed international eligibility saga was brought to an end earlier today, with Cliftonville winger Sean Moore being named in the Republic of Ireland U19 squad for their Euro qualifiers later this month.

It had been suggested that the winger, who has been capped by Northern Ireland up to U18 level, was getting ready to commit his international future to the Republic after an approach from the FAI.

Despite this, Michael O'Neill said last week that he remained optimistic that Moore would remain committed to Northern Ireland.

However, the player has now made his decision.

Ireland U19 boss delighted to bring Sean Moore on board


A number of player have made the move from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland over the last few years. Mark Sykes was the most recent example, turning down call-ups to the senior squad up north before making his debut for Stephen Kenny's side back in November.

The nature of football on this island means that such switches are likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

Speaking after the squad announcement, Ireland U19 manager Tom Mohan confirmed that he was delighted to have Sean Moore on board. He also said that such international changes were part and parcel of football on the island of Ireland (h/t Irish Independent):


With Sean, there was no real problems, he was committed to coming. I was made aware about Sean, he was keen to come and we were keen to get him.

He's done really well and I am looking forward to having him in camp. We finished up in September so the first opportunity I had to bring Sean in, I took him in.

He was flying in the Irish League and has done well, Cliftonville are right up there at the top, he's scored key goals in big games, creating chances and has gone from strength to strength.

Naturally, with a good player who is eligible for both countries, they (IFA) will try hard to get him but thankfully he has come across the line with us.

There were no real problems, players go both ways, no one is breaking any rules, players from the Republic who played for us went to play for the North, we take players from the North, it works both ways, it's not just one-way traffic.

He's a very good player, any young player that can play senior football, to go in and play at that level, perform against the teams he has performed against, it speaks volumes for him as a player and as a person too.

The Ireland U19s will face Slovakia, Estonia, and Greece in the elite phase of Euro qualifying later this month, with all of the fixtures taking place in Wexford. The winner of the group will secure a place in the finals.

It will be hoped that Sean Moore can make an immediate impact after joining up with the squad.

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