IRISH midfielder Chris McCann is in line to return to Burnley's first team after he returned to action following five months on the sidelines.
Dubliner McCann had been an ever-present in the Clarets side earlier this season but suffered a knee injury in action against Sunderland in September and had been out since then. But the former Home Farm schoolboy played 70 minutes for Burnley in a reserve game against Hull City and he now has a chance of making the squad for Saturday's FA Cup clash with Reading.
FORMER Shamrock Rovers man Tadhg Purcell was one of the heroes for Steve Staunton's Darlington side as the relegation strugglers earn their first away win of the season.
Staunton's January signings from the League of Ireland Purcell (Shamrock Rovers) and Gary Dempsey (St Pats) made their debuts for Darlington away to Bradford City and Purcell came up with one of the goals in a 2-1 win, Darlington's first away win since May.
"Tadhg is a grafter and a finisher and he shows a proper striker's instinct," said Staunton.
Trial for Sheehan
WEXFORD Youths striker Gary Sheehan has been offered a trial by League One side Exeter City.
The 22-year-old was Wexford's top scorer last season with seven league goals and that form has attracted cross-channel interest, as Exeter have invited him along for a week-long trial. City's director of football Steve Perryman said: "He is young, lively, gets in behind and is a taker of chances. We are having a look at him this week and may invite him back."
In relation to a story in the Evening Herald of Tuesday January 19th on the financial difficulties being faced by League of Ireland footballers, the FAI have asked us to say that at no stage did FAI CEO John Delaney (or anyone else from the FAI) say to former Drogheda United player Richie Baker "it would not happen again in future", referring to non-payment of players' wages.
At a meeting between a delegation of Drogheda United players (which included Richie Baker) and the FAI, Fran Gavin and John Delaney made assurances that stricter regulations would be brought in to deter clubs from acting in this way. Those assurances were kept. Following the meeting financial recommendations over and above UEFA best practice were introduced.