herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Aiden's bow had the Best of portents

AIDEN McGEADY is expected to win his 47th senior cap against the Czech Republic tomorrow night -- and it was against Czech opposition where his career as an Ireland player started 10 years ago.

The then Celtic man wore the green shirt of Ireland for the first time in an U17 game against the Czechs in a tournament held in Italy in September 2002.

McGeady had a stunning start to his Ireland career, scoring in a 2-0 win over the Czechs on his debut and then scoring again a day later in a 2-1 win over Italy's U17s.



Promise

Sadly the majority of that Irish youth side failed to deliver on the early promise as, from that squad, only McGeady and Leon Best went on to win senior caps.

Patrick Cregg (now Bury) is the only other member of the squad still based in England while Stephen O'Donnell (Shamrock Rovers) and Shane McFaul (Finnish side FC Haka) are playing top-flight football. Changing codes, Mark Ronaldson (Mayo) and Ciaran Lyng (Wexford) went on to play in the All-Ireland championship for their counties.

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