Football

Stephen Kenny Hints At Pairing Coleman & Doherty In Ireland Team Going Forward

Stephen Kenny Hints At Pairing Coleman & Doherty In Ireland Team Going Forward

Stephen Kenny has named his Ireland squad of this month's international window, but there was no place for David McGoldrick after he announced his retirement from international football yesterday.

While the Sheffield United man has not been prolific at international level, it was clear he was a vital player in this team. Despite the fact that he is about to turn 33-years old, the news of his retirement still came as a shock. McGoldrick has only really hit his peak over the last couple of seasons.

However, speaking at a press conference after the squad announcement, Stephen Kenny revealed that he knew the striker was likely to retire after the Euro 2020 campaign.

It wasn't really a shock to me. I think I knew it was always his intention to retire at the end of the campaign. He's a great guy, David. He's a very popular member of the squad.

I would have liked him to stay on of course to have a positive impact on all the attacking young players that we've got coming through, you've got some really good strikers coming through and he could have had an impact.

He's got his reasons and I respect his reasons. That's the way life is. He was excellent in our game against Slovakia and we certainly wish him well...

It was always his intention to retire. I think he can speak for himself, but he obviously had an injury that he played with in Slovakia in the groin region, an abductor injury. I think it affected his training and he subsequently lost his place at Sheffield United, he hasn't started the last few games there.

He is a private man and he has his own reasons, I have to respect that.

McGoldrick's absence will certainly be a blow in the short-term. He was arguably Ireland's best player during the most recent qualifying campaign.

His ability to link the play in forward areas is something that not many other members of the squad have proven capable of on a consistent basis. He would have been a key player for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, also acting as a mentor to younger members of the squad.

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While they may not be proven at international level, there is no doubt that Ireland have a supremely talented set of young players coming into the fold.

Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah have been regulars under Kenny, while Troy Parrott would have been in the frame were it not for his injury issues. There have also been debuts for Dara O'Shea, Jayson Molumby, and Jason Knight.

Kenny is fully confident that the young forward in the group can fill the void left by McGoldrick, while also saying he is hugely excited by the talent currently emerging in this country.

I have great faith in the young strikers coming through. There's a lot of potential, Aaron Connolly, Adam Idah, Troy Parrott, who will probably be in the U21 squad tomorrow and is a real talent.

There's Callum Robinson, who I've been really impressed with since we started working with him. He's a really good player...

I have spoken about one player coming through in eight years, then all of a sudden we have eight players coming through in one year.

We have the three strikers in Idah, Connolly, and Parrott. We have Jayson Molumby and Jason Knight playing in the last game against Finland, and Dara O'Shea of course. Then we have the two goalkeepers in Kelleher and Travers.

There's more players to come through. We have a lot of good players in the squad, players that are looking to make their mark.

This is set to be a big month for Kenny.

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Without a win in his first five games as Ireland manager, he will be looking to secure some positive results over the next couple of weeks.

With vital ranking points on the line ahead of the World Cup qualifying draw, many were puzzled by the FAI's decision to organise a friendly against England, a fixture in which a loss could have a big impact on our seeding.

However, Kenny believes playing against better opposition will lead to quicker development amongst the group.

Seamus Coleman should be available for these games, meaning we will likely be having the Coleman versus Doherty debate once again in the coming weeks.

The Everton man missed out on last month's fixtures due to injury, a blow considering the form he has displayed at club level. While Doherty was favoured for the games in September when both were available, Stephen Kenny has hinted that both could be in the team going forward.

Seamus is a brilliant captain, a brilliant human being, and an exceptional player. Matt Doherty had a really good period in the team, finishing strongly last season for Wolves in the Europa League, he got the position.

Seamus responded brilliantly by being absolutely outstanding for Everton but then picked up an injury. It's quite possible that both of them would have played against Slovakia had they been available.

It's good to have leaders in the group. Shane Duffy deputised as captain in the three games...

Shane Duffy was really consistent in the three games as were the whole back four, very good I thought. Shane Duffy will I'm sure be delighted to welcome Seamus Coleman back into the squad and delighted to hand the captain's armband back to him.

SEE ALSO: John Egan Nails Colours To Mast Ahead Of Munster Semi-Final

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Gary Connaughton

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