Kevin Foley’s Euro 2012 exclusion in quotes
Every media outlet in Ireland is running with the story about Kevin Foley being left out of the Republic of Ireland Euro 2012 squad this morning, and all have their own take on it. Here are the exact quotes to come out, with no biased analysis. More will be added if and when they emerge.
“Words can’t really describe how I feel. I’m just gutted. It was tough, you know. The lads have been great with me, but it’s just happened. What’s happened has happened and there’s nothing I can do about it now. Of course I wish the lads well. I hope they go on and do really well in the tournament. I’ll be their number one fan watching from home. Of course I’ll be watching. I’ll try and take a holiday. I’m going home tomorrow.
“But it’s hard to take, you know. I sort of feel betrayed, you know. I don’t want to go into too much detail. I just feel betrayed, that’s all I want to say. I said that to the manager. I obviously wasn’t happy. It’s just one of those things. I didn’t shed a tear. Listen, I’ve got something to look forward to and that’s to go back and see my family and that’s it.
“I wanted to play tonight, I wanted to prove a point: -that I was fit to play. From what I understood I could have trained last week on Thursday and Friday and been involved in the game [on Saturday], but he said that there was no rush, that they could wait for me to train in Italy. So I trained in Italy for two days and felt great and then all of a sudden he pulls me in this morning just before the end and told me I wasn’t in the squad. That was hard to take.
“I’ve done everything I can. That’s all I can do. I could have trained last week and been involved in the game. If someone had said to me that I had to train Thursday and Friday to prove my fitness or else I wouldn’t be in the squad, then I would have bitten his hand off and started the game. I was just under the illusion that I could take my time, train in Italy, prove my fitness and then be in the squad.”
On his future with Ireland:
“I don’t really want to talk about that now. I just want to go home. It’s a lot take in one day.”
“We thought very hard about what was the best and most appropriate decision for the team. We based our decision on the fact that the centre defenders, Dunne, O’Shea, O’Dea, they all have problems. We are not sure if they will be one hundred percent. This morning Paul McShane did a careful medical check and we decided to include him in the 23. The reason behind this is that we need one more central defender and we know they are more subject to bookings.
“I spoke to Kevin this morning and with regret I communicated my decision to him. Obviously, he was clearly upset. Also me, also me. But I have a responsibility to our team and the nation, the Irish nation. It’s my duty to take this decision, disregarding personal feeling.
“It was very difficult because we have a lot of esteem, a lot of respect for Foley. This morning I spoke to Richard Dunne about his muscular problems, and then St. Ledger who has not been right for a few days. The defenders are likely to get bookings. We must decide about what defenders we bring. I said to him [Foley] ‘We are happy if you decide to stay with us’. He said ‘Ok I think about it’. Obviously he is a little bit sad. That’s normal he is a man, maybe he could decide tomorrow or after the friendly against Budapest. I let him speak to his wife. I told him we have great respect for him, he plays well. He can go back immediately or after we play in Budapest. It is a selfish decision to ask him to stay, but I understand if he wants to go. It’s not easy for him, for me, not easy to say this. I am also sensitive.
“It was a very difficult decision to make. Marco and I thought about it for a very long time and I am sorry for Kevin but in the end I have a duty both to the team and the country.”
“I wouldn’t say thrilled because I know Kev and he’s a good friend of mine. I’ve not been jumping around the place celebrating. I just tried to keep an even keel. I am happy obviously to be in the 23 and I didn’t expect to be in it. I am happy deep down, but I do feel for Kev. I was happy but the minute I got told I thought of Kev straight away because it is disappointing. Football is a cruel sport sometimes. He’s been disappointed but he is a good lad. He has got a bit about so he won’t get too down about it. I think he’ll bounce back from it.
“I can play both positions and I feel comfortable there. Wherever is needed. If there is an injury I am ready to step in. I just turned up the squad and I didn’t expect anything out of it. I just turned up because I was called upon and I wanted to come and train with the lads. I’ve started against Bosnia and been put in the 23. I never really expected it but I was always preparing for it mentally, just in case I did get called upon. I am happy to be there but disappointed for Kevin. If I was sat by the phone or waiting for the call it might not have came so I went about my business. The call came.”