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Kevin Walker Makes Final Of Swedish Pop Idol And All The Other Irish Footballer News From Around The World

Kevin Walker Makes Final Of Swedish Pop Idol And All The Other Irish Footballer News From Around The World
By Barry Landy
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From Russia with acrimony, Aiden McGeady’s Moscow mission ended in abrupt fashion this week, dominating headlines and setting tongues wagging in Liverpool to London, Newcastle to Glasgow with the winger set to return to Britain after a tumultuous three and half year spell with Spartak Moscow.

The Republic of Ireland international was suspended from first team duty last week after a bust-up with manager Valeri Karpin. Reports claimed the Spartak boss was angered by McGeady’s ‘extremely poor physical shape, negligent attitude to training and inadequate level of commitment.’

Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

With his contract due to run out in the summer and McGeady on record with his wish to try his hand in the Premier League, he was expected to be the subject of a number of bids from Premier League club in the January transfer window. With his Spartak career now in tatters, that expectation has become a certainty and it is highly unlikely McGeady will return to action for the Russian side when the season resumes in March.

Despite spending his Sunday training with the reserve team while his teammates beat Volga 6-1 in the Russia Premier League, Spartak fans at the Luzhniki Stadium thanked the Irishman for his efforts by unfurling a huge banner in his honour. Despite his inclination for implosion, a tally of 13 goals and 29 assists has seen him curry favour with the supporters throughout.

Over in the Ukraine, Darren O’Dea played his last competitive match for, read it, three months as Metalurh Donetsk beat Vorskla 4-1 at the Stadion Metalurh on Friday night.

The centre back returned to the starting line-up to face the side he scored his first and only Metalurh goal against earlier in the season and played 90 minutes as they ran out comfortable winners to extended their unbeaten league run to six games. O’Dea did however concede a penalty, picking up a yellow card in the process, for a second half handball. The penalty was missed as Vorskla passed up the opportunity to get back into the match.


The Ukrainian Premier League now takes a three month break before returning for the second half of the season, with the freezing tempuratures and snowy conditions there in winter making playing football impossible.


Speaking to The Emerald Exiles, O’Dea said, “The break of three months is actually only from competitive football. We’re only off for five weeks.” Good for some. O’Dea will now take in a break in Dubai and Christmas in Glasgow before linking up with his teammates in January for a mid-season ‘pre-season’ in Turkey.

Republic of Ireland Under 21 cap Selcuk Tidim was on the scoresheet as Hansa Rostock reserves’ picked up their six win in seven matches to move to within a point of the Oberliga Nord table in Germany.


Tidim was a second half substitute and scored in-form Hansa’s second goal in a late, 3-2 away win over Altlüdersdorf. The home side pulled two goals back to level the game before an 89th minute strike sealed a Rostock win.

Swapping one type of pitch for another momentarily, regular readers of the column will be pleased to learn Kevin Walker, of the Cavan Walkers, earn his place in the final of Swedish Pop Idol on Friday night, seeing off the final round of competition to reach this week’s final.



The GIF Sundsvall midfielder, who suffered playoff heartbreak last month when his GIF missed out on a place in the Allsvenskan after defeat in the promotion/relegation decider, will go up against Elin Bergman for a recording contract with Universal Music.

What started out as pure novelty, the footballer turned crooner has certainly hit the right note with Swedish audiences. For Walker, this Friday’s decider is just the latest line of cup finals. An all too rare prize awaits.

Exiles in Brief

  • Fiona O’Sullivan played 90 minutes for SC Freiburg in the Frauen Bundesliga on Sunday but the Republic of Ireland striker couldn’t help her side withstand a second half onslaught, losing 5-1 to Bayer Leverkusen.
  • In New Zealand, player-manager Brian Shelley saw his Waitakere United side suffer their first defeat of the ASB Premiership, going down 0-2 to local rivals Auckland City.
  • Calf injuries to two former Republic of Ireland international Liams ruled messers Miller and Lawrence out of club action for their respective sides, Brisbane Roar and PAOK Salonika this weekend.
  • The younger of the O’Shaughnessy brothers, Daniel, played the full match for FC Metz’ second team in France’s CFA 2 on Saturday. The 19 year old Finland Under 21 cap made his ninth appearance of the season at centre back and helped the French side extended their lead at the top of the division.
  • Kyle Lafferty started for Palermo as they won 2-1 at home to Novara, moving them to within one point of the Serie B summit. The Northern Ireland striker couldn’t add to his five goals this season in his hour on the field, but linked up well with teenage two goal hero Andrea Belotti to fashion several chances.
  • The Hong Kong Division One season resumed this weekend, and former Republic of Ireland underage call up Sean Tse as a 66th minute substitute in South China’s 2-0 over Rangers FC.
  • A third defeat in four games saw Union Berlin slip to sixth in the Bundesliga 2 on Friday evening. Union lost 1-3 to Vfr Aalen at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, with Patrick Kohlmann played 90 minutes at left back.
  • Better news for Barry Maguire and FC Den Bosch in the Netherlands. They picked up a second successive win, and just a second away win all season, to move up to 15th in the Ereste Divisie.

Follow Emerald Exiles on Twitter and visit the website.

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