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Richie Towell Wasn't The Only Hyped Irishman To Make His FA Cup Debut This Weekend

Richie Towell Wasn't The Only Hyped Irishman To Make His FA Cup Debut This Weekend
By Gary Reilly Updated

Ireland's goalkeeping situation is one that we should probably be increasingly worried about heading towards Euro 2016. Even by the extended shelf life standards of goalkeepers, there's an uncomfortable reality coming down the tracks.

Unless Kieran Westwood can finally mark out a regular spot for himself, we're left relying on the likes of Elliot and Randolph picking up intermittent club appearances here and there in the expectation that everything will come together when it comes to international duty. So far that's worked quite well since Shay Given's first retirement from the international scene.

David Forde did a job for a while and now Darren Randolph is doing something similar. However, it's not exactly a long term solution. Given followed Bonner and that lineage of long term goalkeepers is set to be definitively broken up this summer when Shay presumably calls it a day for a second time. Of course it's not a necessity but we've been worried about the goalkeeping situation for a while now and Given's return to the fold was the greatest possible example of that.

So what do we have to go on going forward? Well perhaps the time is finally right for Ian Lawlor to put his considerable frame into the picture. The on loan Man City man made his FA Cup debut this weekend, keeping a clean sheet for Bury against Bradford in a 0-0 draw just a couple of days after signing for them following an earlier loan deal at Barnet.

The 6ft 4 Dubliner was drafted into City's first team squad for a Champions League game a couple of years ago. Since then he's come no closer to making his debut. However, that's not exactly surprising given his position and his best chance of progression will no doubt come away from the Etihad Stadium. One game and one clean sheet is not a bad start in that regard.

Lawlor has already been part of the Ireland senior squad after he was called up last summer to fill out the squad during the summer friendlies against Italy, Costa Rica and Portugal. He didn't make it off the bench in those games but if he can impress in League One during the rest of the season then we may not have to wait too long to see if the 21 year old can stake a claim for the no.1 jersey in the long run.

And speaking of players staking a claim for an Ireland jersey in the long run, Richie Towell's FA Cup debut will certainly have been of interest to Martin O'Neill this weekend as Chris Hughton threw him in at the first possible opportunity as he played the full 90 minutes of Brighton's 1-0 defeat at the hands of Hull.

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It may not have been an ideal debut but the fact that he was given the opportunity to not only start but also finish the game so soon after his official arrival is very positive going forward. Hughton told the Brighton website that Towell 'coped very well' having started in an advanced midfield position. It's a small show of confidence but one which would indicate that Hughton doesn't have any intention of easing the former Dundalk man in slowly as they look to re-ignite their Premier League promotion push.

See also: Martin O'Neill Has Opened The Euro 2016 Door For 'One Or Two Players'

See also: Damien Duff Reveals The Moment He Knew It Was Time To Retire

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