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Mick McCarthy Explains Who Tipped Him Off About Young Irish Goalkeeper Talbot

Mick McCarthy Explains Who Tipped Him Off About Young Irish Goalkeeper Talbot
By Maurice Brosnan

It was "good information" that first alerted Irish manager Mick McCarthy to Bohemians goalkeeper James Talbot.

The 22-year-old has enjoyed an outstanding debut season in the Airtricity League and had his form justly rewarded with a spot in McCarthy's squad for the next two EURO 2020 qualifiers.

The Irish boss was aware that the Bohs shot-stopper "was nervous," about his first call-up but revealed, "he acquitted himself well in training."

Talbot moved to Bohemians after a stint with Sunderland proved unsuccessful. Since then his showings have been sensational, but McCarthy was initially made aware of his promise by Ipswich Town under-23 coach Gerard Nash. The Irish boss worked with the Dubliner in his previous role at the club.

It was Gerard Nash who works at Ipswich. He's a nice lad, a nice fella. Wherever he's been, he just goes out and watches games. I asked everybody who goes out and watches games, if you see any of our lads, give me a heads up. That's what he did. He's a really good coach and a particularly good eye.

The previous regime spoke openly about their network of contacts. It was Nicky Butt who contacted then assistant manager Roy Keane about Manchester United youngster Lee O'Connor.

McCarthy has his connections too and he's not afraid to use them.

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"I don't think I'm the guru of football who knows all the players and only I can see them. I believe everybody's got an opinion. Some opinions I take more than others."

I'd have a look at him whoever came and said it to me. I got loads of people who say to me "this fella can play, certainly at club level." I think okay, where is he playing? What is he doing in his career? Let's just analysis him first.

Has he played for any decent club? How old is he? Is a forward? Has he scored any goals? How much does he play? What's the percentage of time he spends on the pitch? We can find all that out from our networks, scouting and whathaveyou. Then we can have a look at him.

It's a precise process and one that the manager firmly believes in: "Information is king, go to games and ask other scouts. They are all delighted to tell you."

It's not always an external tip either. Bristol City’s Max O’Leary trained with the squad this week and is in the process of becoming eligible for Ireland.

He was a figure goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly was aware of for some time.

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"I was made aware he qualifies for us and of course, as usual, when I told Alan Kelly he'd already seen him two or three times. He knew about him. He was on his radar. He came in and did well."

Mick McCarthy was speaking at the 2019 SPAR FAI Primary School 5s Programme National Finals at the Aviva Stadium.

SEE ALSO: "He Stood Out In Training" - Mick McCarthy Hails Young And Old Midfielders

SEE ALSO: 'Thank Fuck It's Not Dick' - McCarthy's One Relief At Nathan Redmond News

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