Northern Ireland Manager Denies Troy Deeney's Dubious Soccer AM Claim

Northern Ireland Manager Denies Troy Deeney's Dubious Soccer AM Claim

In the run-up to a major tournament, players with tenuous qualification credentials begin to emerge from the football woodwork.

For Northern Ireland, Troy Deeney did just that on Saturday's Soccer AM.

The Watford striker was asked by John Fendley - I refuse to call him 'Fenners' - if it's true he's eligible to play for Northern Ireland.

Deeney responded:

We're just confirming the Northern Ireland thing at the moment.

The Soccer AM presenter then sought to clarify if Northern Ireland management had been in touch.

Denney responded with a perfunctory 'yeah' which left you wondering if he had actually been listening.


Word of Deeney's claim made its way to Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill. That there had been contact between the two parties was news to O'Neill.

He told the Irish Examiner:

I spoke with Troy about four years ago, not long after I took the job. I was alerted to Troy’s potential eligibility, and I spoke to the player and had him watched. We were informed that the eligibility wasn’t there, so we didn’t pursue it any further.

So the idea that we are suddenly speaking again is strange. We haven’t spoken since four years ago. Saturday’s news prompted a few texts and tweets, but it is news to me, as it has been to everyone else

Here's Deeney's appearance on Soccer AM.

Read: The Shay Given Imposter Who Pranked Sky Sports Tells How It All Came About

PJ Browne
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