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Clontarf granny gives Christie chance with Ireland

IRELAND'S new recruit Cyrus Christie says it was a "no brainer" to use the bloodline of his Dublin-born granny and throw his lot in with Ireland.

The defender joined his Derby County team-mates Jeff Hendrick and Richard Keogh in the Irish squad for training this week, and while Martin O'Neill admits it's unlikely that Christie will be involved for Friday's qualifier in Glasgow - he'd have to dislodge Séamus Coleman for starters - he could feature in next week's friendly against the USA.

Now aged 22, Christie is something of a late recruit to international football as he's never been capped at any level and has only recently come onto the FAI's radar despite a long spell as Kevin Kilbane's team-mate at Coventry City.

But the defender is glad to be in the fold at last.

"I was always knew about the Irish connection and it was one that I wanted to do. England's U21s were in touch with me at the same time but Ireland was the best option for me," says Christie.

"I just spoke to the people who advise me, like my agent. I spoke with the manager at Derby (Steve McClaren) and the other people around me and we came to the conclusion that Ireland would be better for me.

"It was really a no-brainer, it didn't take much consideration. I think there are better opportunities for me with Ireland. They're a good team going places," he says, Christie coming into the Irish fold thanks to his granny.

"My nan's name is Mary Redmond. Her mum was from the North Wall and then they lived in Clontarf and Kildare as well. She's still alive and I came over to Ireland when I was younger."

Fellow Rams Hendrick and Keogh had already sold the Irish scene to Christie.

"I live next door to Jeff back in Derby so he's always telling me about and I played at Coventry with Richard Keogh and I'm with him again at Derby so they've always been telling me how it is and how good it is," he says, aware that he offers competition for the right-back slot and has settled in at Championship level this season.

He added: "I played 40 games for Coventry in the Championship in my first season when I was 18. It's been a good start for me at Derby."