Irish Abroad – October 27 / 28

by Brian Strahan

Brian Strahan reports on the fortunes of some of Ireland’s exports over the weekend.

Good weekend for…

So much can change at international level, a variant of players drift in and out of the apparent wilderness.  The definition of a fringe player has lost some of its resonance, as the fringe has become a wider plain.  But if you were to think of an old style fringe player in the modern set up, you’d do worse then to use Cillian Sheridan as an example.

It feels that the Cavan man has been around longer then his 23 years reflect.  A huge chunk of his stay at Celtic between 2006 and 2010 was spent on loan at Motherwell, Plymouth Argyle and St Johnstone.

An unlikely move to CSKA Sofia in 2010 ultimately didn’t fare well and a change of management saw another loan move to St. Johnstone.  And with financial problems hitting the Bulgarian club he agreed to a termination of his contract.  Kilmarnock’s manager Kenny Shiels signed Sheridan in September of this year and has seen a decent return from his striker.

And this weekend saw his most high profile strike to date, scoring in the second half to contribute to Kilmarnock’s 2-0 victory away to Celtic.

The win not only keeps the Ayrshire club in contention in what is proving to be a surprisingly open division to date, but it also stopped Celtic pulling away from their nearest rivals Hibernian.

Pat Fenlon’s side sit in second place on goal difference, much aided by their 4-0 demolition of Motherwell on Friday night.  The Dubliner was delighted with what he called a “massive win” and the ex-Shelbourne midfielder’s stock is rising.

Bad weekend for…

Giovanni Trapattoni was the last to be suitably impressed by Marc Wilson’s form for Stoke City but ultimately something prevailed; whether it be common sense or an assistants logic.  It’s hard to guess these things.  But all that matters is that Wilson finally made his debut in this month’s qualifier with the Faroe Islands and suitably impressed.  Not simply because of an appearance on the score sheet but for an accomplished and polished performance at left back.

But a broken fibula in the dour draw with Sunderland means the versatile 25 year old will remain out of action for 3-4 months.  The good news is that there should be enough time for a return from injury and a return to form before Ireland’s next World Cup qualifiers in March 2013; away to Sweden and a home game with Austria. 

Irish scorers

Plymouth born Joe Mason is not a late deflector.  With a mother from Co. Mayo he opted to play for Ireland from a young age and has already played at under-16, under-18, under-19 and under-21 level.

His most high profile appearance was in Cardiff’s League Cup final loss to Liverpool in February and Mason was on the score sheet that day also.  His early goal this weekend against Burnley set his side on their way to a 4-0 win and left them three points clear of Leicester City.

And one of the reasons for that gap at the summit of the Championship is Damien Delaney and his opportunistic goal for Crystal Palace who beat Leicester 2-1 away from home.

Simon Cox’s decent return for Nottingham Forest continues with a goal in his sides 4-1 win away to Barnsley.  Dubliner Adam Rooney scored in Swindon Town’s impressive 4-0 away win to Stevenage in League One, while in League Two Padraig Amond, once of Shamrock Rover and Sligo Rovers, scored the only goal in Accrington Stanleys 1-0 win over Barnsley.

Author Info

Brian Strahan

Brian Strahan

Freelance Football Journalist. Based in Dublin, interested in all things football. Regular contributor to www.SportsNewsIreland.com

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