Football

Supple Feels Mark Travers Can't Be Overlooked In Ireland No 1 Race

Supple Feels Mark Travers Can't Be Overlooked In Ireland No 1 Race

Ireland have an embarrassment of riches at the goalkeeping position at the moment.

While Gavin Bazunu and Caoimhín Kelleher are both relatively inexperienced in senior football, it is clear that both are supremely talented players. They have been very impressive during the opportunities they have been given at both club and international level and look like they could go right to the top of the game.

There has been some debate about which of the pair will eventually establish themselves are Ireland's first choice goalkeeper. Bazunu has the shirt at the moment, although there is a sense that Kelleher is still very much in contention.

What about Mark Travers? Often overlooked in this conversation, he has been in superb form for Bournemouth this season as they attempt to gain promotion to the Premier League. He has played a key role for Scott Parker's side as they moved to the top of the Championship heading into this weekend.

His only competitive start for Ireland came in the loss to Serbia last year, with the Kildare man making a couple of mistakes on the night. The result of that was Bazunu coming into the side for the next game against Luxembourg, holding onto the position ever since.

Despite this, Shane Supple believes that Travers is still very much in the mix to become Ireland's long-term number one.

Speaking on the RTÉ Soccer Podcast, the former Ipswich Town and Bohemians goalkeeper said that the Bournemouth player's form had gone somewhat under the radar this season.

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We're lucky with where we're at with the two lads there but the other one not to forget is Mark Travers, who has played the most games out of all of them.

He was unlucky when he came in against Serbia in that game. We could be having a completely different conversation now around Mark and him being the No 1 for Ireland. It was just unfortunate the way that worked out, but I've always rated Mark since I first saw him as a young kid.

A lot of it comes down to a bit of luck as well. I think Gavin has been lucky at times. He's got away with some things that maybe Mark mightn't have got away with, or didn't get away with, in the Serbia game.

There's one or two times Gavin has tried to play it out and it wasn't on, where he probably got away with it - definitely in that Portugal game away from home. It could have been a completely different outlook on the game and maybe on Gavin going forward.

Mark, on the other side of it, probably didn't get away with some of the decisions he made and he didn't look as settled or as comfortable in that Serbia game.

But the way I'd look at it with Mark is how he's come back from that at club level, and showed the type of temperament he has. Unfortunately in goalkeeping there's going to be times when you are the idiot and the clown - it's how you come back from that.

Travers has started all but one of Bournemouth's league fixtures this season, keeping 11 clean sheets in the process.

If he is playing Premier League football next season, it would not be a surprise to see Stephen Kenny give him another opportunity for Ireland.

SEE ALSO: 6 Players We Expect To Make Their Ireland Debut In 2022

Gary Connaughton

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