Tuesday 12 December 2017

‘Harte spot on for recall’

SHANE LONG says that his Reading team-mate Ian Harte is keen to revive his international career after three and a half years in exile.

Harte, 33, has been in superb form for Reading since his move from Carlisle last month, scoring two goals in six games and has helped Brian McDermott's side move up to seventh place in the Championship table.

But Harte's Ireland career has ground to a complete halt as he has not even been in the Irish squad in over three years and his last cap was in the 2-1 win away to San Marino, back in February 2007.

Yet Long says that Harte is still eager to wear the green shirt again and add to his tally of 64 caps.

"Hartey is desperate to play for his country again, I know that. He asks me regularly what the set-up is like with Ireland, and I'm sure he would love to be back in the squad, he had a great record of scoring goals for Ireland and that could be an asset to us too," says Long.

"He could easily have stayed at Carlisle and seen out his career there but he got the chance to move up a division by coming to Reading, he wanted to play at the highest level possible and he's shown with his form that he's well able for it.

"If he keeps playing well and scoring goals it will be hard to ignore him," added Long, who has had to fight off Harte for the right to take spot kicks with the Royals.

"He's scored a few goals for us at Reading but he knows the score now that I take the penalties and he can take the free kicks."

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