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Tuesday 18 December 2018

Jordan's in Ship' shape for debut

Ireland U-21 boss Noel King. Pic: Sportsfile
Ireland U-21 boss Noel King. Pic: Sportsfile

Over the years, dual-eligible players have been unearthed by a variety of sources for Irish teams but an FAI press officer can claim credit for Jordan Shipley's enlistment.

Ahead of his debut today in Israel, Shipley outlined how former Coventry City media man Kieran Crowley alerted Ireland U-21 boss Noel King to his lineage through his late Cork-born grandparents.

Netting on his international debut would crown a stellar year for Shipley. His sumptuous free-kick against Luton Town earned him the Goal of the Month award last October.

He went on to bag another vital goal at Wembley in the play-off final against Exeter City as the Sky Blues clinched promotion to League One.

Ireland will need all the talent they can get as only victory today and again in Germany on Tuesday in their final qualifiers will salvage ambitions of reaching the finals next year.

"I couldn't turn down the invitation when Noel got in touch to call me in," said Shipley.

"My mam, Peggy Meade, is so proud of me getting the call-up. I never really thought about international football, be it with Ireland or England, until Kieran started the ball rolling.

"I was just delighted to be asked in for this get-together and hopefully I can play a part in this vital game against Israel."

uefa U21 European Championship qualifier

Israel v Ireland

Akko, (KO 3pm)

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