Football

Northern Irish Prospect Dismisses Chances He Was Ever Going To Declare For Republic

Northern Irish Prospect Dismisses Chances He Was Ever Going To Declare For Republic

Paul Smyth was just four minutes into his debut for Northern Ireland on Saturday when he made his mark on the game.

The 20-year-old came off the bench against South Korea to replace Jordan Jones with less than ten minutes remaining. The QPR winger scored the winner in his brief time on the pitch. It was a 2-1 win for Northern Ireland.

Smyth joined QPR from Linfield during the summer. His debut for the club on New Year's Day against Cardiff was also a goalscoring one.

Earlier this month, following some speculation that Smyth - who comes from a GAA background - could declare for the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill shot down the prospect.

"You can’t assume just because a player from the North watches GAA that he wants to play for the Republic of Ireland," O'Neill told The Irish Daily Mail.

Following Saturday's game, Smyth also dismissed the chances that he was ever going to switch allegiance.

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"I was brought up through the youth teams and I always said to myself if I got my chance with the Northern Ireland first team then I would take it," Smyth told the Press Association.

I didn't listen to it (the talk about the possibility of representing the Republic) at all. I feel it puts unnecessary pressure on you when people question you about it. So I avoid it as much as I can and just focus on where I am at the minute.

Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

See Also: Ireland's Colin Doyle Getting A Lot Of Love For His Unreal Commitment

PJ Browne
Article written by
Kerryman. Write mostly about Gaelic games and athletics. Did not win a 2008 NBA title with the Boston Celtics.

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