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Premiership Irish: Ambitions for the Year

15 September 2010 3,944 views No Comment Written by Michael

A list of all the Irish players in the Premiership this season, and what their realistic aims should be for both club and country.


Conor Henderson

A very stylish and elegant midfielder that is held in high regard by both country and club. After suffering a terrible knee injury, Arsenal reassure him by offering him professional terms. Can realistically only hope to keep catching Wenger’s eye and underage level, and hope to follow in the footsteps of Jack Wilshere. Henderson could not ask for a better club to learn his trade. Signed a new contract extension today which gives an idea of how respected he is amongst the coaching staff at Arsenal.

Aston Villa

Richard Dunne

More of the same from Richard. After bring discarded like a piece of out of date meat by Man City, Dunne proved himself by getting in the Premier League team of the year. Some epic displays for Ireland over recent years have made Dunne an irreplaceable player for Ireland.

Stephen Ireland

Got his move that was badly needed after falling out of place with Mancini at Man City. All that Ireland will hope for is stability and a manager that will put his arm around him. Expect little development on his international issue.

Birmingham City

Keith Fahey

The hero of Armenia, Fahey has found himself reduced to more of a squad player in recent times for Birmingham. He will hope to regain and hold down a position in the starting 11, as well as developing on his important cameo in Yerevan.

Stephen Carr

Has found a new lease of life since coming out of retirement for Birmingham. All he can hope for is to enjoy the sunset years of his career and to ensure another good finish for Birmingham

Jay O’Shea

After making his debut for Birmingham at Old Trafford of all places, O’Shea has found his opportunities extremely limited. Perhaps a move on loan again is needed, after his month loan at Middlesbrough last season. Important year for the player.

Blackburn Rovers

Keith Andrews

A player who has fought the hard way to get the Premiership. Often derided by some sections of the Ewood crowd, Andrews has none the less found himself an admirer in Allardyce. Will be return from injury quickly, keep his position in the Blackburn team, and ensure neither Darron Gibson or Paul Green replace him in the engine room for Ireland. Will hope he can build on his exceptional display in Paris for Ireland.

Aaron Doran

After an impressive display on his debut against Liverpool last season, Doran will be hoping to build on that and prove to Allardyce through his displays for the reserves, that he is worthy of a place in Blackburn’s squad. Contracted until the summer of 2012, time is certainly on his side.


Billy Clarke

Suffered a knee injury in pre season training that it is believed could keep him out for the best part of the campaign. Will be hoping he can return before the seasons end to help the Tangerines.

Bolton Wanders

Joey O’Brien

Quite simple with Joey, his aim will be to return from injury and stay injury free for as long as possible. His career has been blighted by cruel injury. Should he make a full recovery and get a decent number of games with Bolton under his belt, O’Brien should easily regain his position in the Irish squad.

Andy O’Brien

Not played for Ireland since that infamous 5-2 Cyprus match, O’Brien will be much more concerned about breaking into the Bolton team rather than ending his retirement with the Irish team.

Mark Connolly

On loan with St. Johnstone. An exciting defensive prospect.


Conor Clifford

A regular for the Chelsea reserves, Clifford is a player with whom a lot is expected. Scored a fantastic goal in last season’s FA Youth Cup final, and is already being described as the Next Lampard. Will be hoping to stay improving with the Chelsea second string, and to add to his numerous underage appearances for Ireland.


Seamus Coleman

Coleman has already looked very dangerous in his two substitute appearances. The pacey full back will be pushing Hibbert hard for his position this term. No doubt Coleman is tantalisingly close to the Irish squad. Some more impressive displays with Everton and he will achieve that goal.

Shane Duffy

Not many players can claim that they are lucky to be alive and enjoy the game. After his near death experience May, Duffy will no doubt be delighted just to be playing the game this season. He has returned from his lacerated liver injury quicker than many expected. He will hope to become a regular in the Everton squad, and live up to the hype that surrounds him on Merseyside. Again he will be hoping to stay in the back of Trap’s mind.  A player that very much is expected of.


Stephen Kelly

Will be hoping for more Premiership football this term. That can only be helped by the selling of Paul Konchesky to Liverpool. Almost an ever present in Irish squads at the moment. However his blip in the first 5 minutes of the Georgia game in the last campaign is still remembered by many an Irish fan. Very important season for Kelly.

Damien Duff

Enjoyed a fantastic season last year which was so close to being capped with another world cup appearance. Duff will be hoping for much of the same under Mark Hughes and to remain injury free. Duff is well aware that he has Hunt, McGeady and Fahey all battling for his Irish jersey so he will be very aware of the level of performance that is expected of him in a green shirt. Still an essential player for Ireland.

Manchester City

Shay Given

Disastrous start to the season for Given when Mancini went with Hart. After deciding to stay at Eastlands, all Given can do is sit tight and wait for his opportunity, which seems a little unfair after his great displays last season. His number one jersey for Ireland is quite assured, but Given will be aware that there are Premiership clubs sitting up and paying attention to Keiren Westwood at Coventry.

Greg Cunningham

A player that it is very obvious Trapattoni thinks a lot of. Unlucky in that he finds himself at a club where money is no object. Surprising that he hasn’t moved on loan yet, Cunningham will happy with any opportunities that will come his way. Will push the ageing Kilbane all the way for the left back position this term for Ireland

Donal McDermott

Again, McDermott could suffer from the same issues as Cunningham. However he is a very exciting prospect. Only 20, the youngster looked a very good last night against Arsenal reserves. He has enjoyed loan spells at Milton Keynes, Chesterfield and Scunthorpe over the last few years, and a loan move looks likely again this season.

Manchester United

John O’Shea

It was very much a case of you don’t know what you got till its gone last season for John. His importance to United was only discovered as a result of the calf injury he picked up in Paris. A vital player for United, O’Shea will be hoping to cement his position in the team and collect as much silverware as possible this season. After a shaky start, O’Shea is now looking very much the part in an Ireland jersey and is one of the first names on Trapattoni’s starting sheet.

Darron Gibson

Massive year for the Derry man. Ferguson is always singing his praises, it is now time for Gibson to step up to the plate. By starting him against Bayern Munich in the Champions league last season, Ferguson proved that he has faith in Gibson. However he seems reluctant to show this faith very much. The time has now come where Gibson will not be happy with just Carling Cup games. Will be upset at finding himself behind Paul Green in Ireland’s two recent fixtures. Still a young player with buckets of talent.

Newcastle United

Leon Best

Best has not settled as well as he had hoped at St James Park. Time will tell if he is capable of playing at this level. Injuries have curtailed his chances with Ireland. Proved that he has an eye for goal at Coventry, he will be hoping to rediscover that form.

Stoke City

Glenn Whelan

Will be quite upset to have lost his place for the Monday night game against Aston Villa. Whelan has been one of the few bright spots of a poor start to the league for Stoke. With a lot of competition for his position at Stoke, Whelan will be hoping that he does enough to prove to Tony Pulis that he is the man for the job. Has become a very important player for Ireland in the past year, with his tears after his goal against Italy proving just how much it means for him to wear the jersey.

Marc Wilson

A good move from Wilson, after impressing over the last season for Portsmouth. Will be hoping to prove himself at Premiership level while hoping that he can break into the Irish squad.

Jonathan Walters

Will be looking forward to his first taste of Premiership football. Very much a workhorse of a player, which should put him in the good books for Tony Pulis. A number of good displays for Ipswich helped to secure his move to the Premiership. Still uncapped for Ireland, Walters will be hoping to do enough to secure a call up this term.

Rory Delap

The man with the bullet throws. Delap will be very happy to keep his place in the Stoke team. At 34, Delap will be well aware that he does not have much time left at this level so he will be hoping to make the most of the time he has left. His 11 caps for Ireland look unlikely to be added to.


Andy Reid

Showed flashes of his brilliant last season. The new lean Reid looked to be really enjoying his football again. This term he will be hoping to return from injury as quick as possible, and hoping that Trapattoni will look past the spat they had in Mainz and select him again.

David Meyler

Could not have suffered his cruel injury at a worse time. He had settled brilliantly into the Sunderland team and was well on his way to be being fast tracked to the Irish team. The best he can hope for this season is to return as soon as possible and regain full fitness.


Robbie Keane

Seems to be very much out of favour at Spurs. His ill advised planning of the Christmas party behind his managers back last season seems to have been a stupid move that is having consequences on his career. With Defoe out for the next 3 months, Keane will hope that he takes the few opportunities he will get. The fact Spurs are playing Champions league football this season can only help. The Irish captain is still a vital player for us and has formed a very good partnership with Kevin Doyle. It would mean everything to Keane to lead his country out at a major tournament.

Wigan Athlethic

James McCarthy

The child messiah. After a difficult start to his Wigan career, McCarthy has settled extremely well into Premiership football. He already has 118 club games under his belt, and the tender age of 19. Can only improve under the guidance of Martinez. Has now become one of the big name Wigan players.

McCarthy will be hoping to get his chance to prove to Trapattoni what he can do over the coming months. Expect him to get some action in the upcoming friendly against Norway.

Wolverhampton Wanders

Kevin Doyle

Doyle has become one of the best strikers in the Premiership. He played a very big part in helping Wolves keep their Premiership status last term. A player with no real weakness, and the heart of a lion. He will be hoping to improve on his goalscoring record of last season. Essential player for Ireland, as was proved by his tremendous display in Yerevan, and his fantastic goal against Andorra. He is very much a player that deserves to play at a major tournament.

Kevin Foley

A player that Mick McCarthy has great trust in. He won the fans’ player of the year in 2008-09 and continued on his fine form last season. He will be hoping for another relegation free season this year with Wolves. He will also be hoping to add to his one cap for Ireland. Should his good form continue then there is no reason he shouldn’t.

Stephen Ward

Ward has had no problems making the transitional change from striker to left back. Another player that McCarthy has shown great trust in. Contracted until 2013, Ward will be hoping to avoid any more knee operations, and to keep hold of the left back slot. As with Foley, Ward will be hoping to catch Trapattoni’s eye this coming season.

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