MAC: NO, STRACH I’LL FOL­LOW MICK

McGoldrick wants to play for Ire­land not Scot­land

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Jamie Holt

DAVID McGoldrick has turned down Gor­don Strachan’s of­fer to play for Scot­land be­cause he prefers to take his chances with Ire­land.

The Ip­swich striker says he would jump at the chance if Ire­land were in­ter­ested af­ter find­ing out that he’s el­i­gi­ble to play for the Repub­lic.

McGoldrick’s in­ter­na­tional sta­tus had been un­clear un­til re­cently be­cause he was adopted as a baby.

Born and raised in Not­ting­ham by adop­tive mother Janet, McGoldrick was wanted by Ire­land as a young­ster but had no clear link to the coun­try.

The 26-year-old, though, de­cided to do some dig­ging into his fam­ily tree af­ter Scot­land boss Strachan made en­quiries about him at the end of last sea­son.

It turned out his birth mother’s fa­ther has con­nec­tions to Ire­land, and McGoldrick wasted no time in speak­ing with the FAI.

The in-form striker, who took his sea­son’s tally to 16 with a late equaliser against Barns­ley last weekend, is cur­rently in the process of ac­quir­ing an Ir­ish pass­port – clear­ing the way for a call-up. Ire­land’s next game is a friendly at home to Ser­bia on March 5.

And the for­mer Not­ting­ham For­est for­ward says an in­ter­na­tional cap from Ire­land man­ager Martin O’Neill – and a play-off place with the Trac­tor Boys – would seal a sea­son to re­mem­ber.

“I feel in the best form of my ca­reer. I’ve just got to keep this go­ing now,” said McGoldrick.

“If I do get a call-up it will top off what has been a great sea­son so far, a place in the play-offs and a call-up would be ideal.

Birth

“I’ve not spo­ken di­rectly with Martin O’Neill or any­one from the Ire­land set-up about a call up. The Ser­bia game isn’t on my mind at the mo­ment, and I’ve just got to keep my form go­ing with Ip­swich.

“I’m in the process of sort­ing a pass­port out an I’ll need that first be­fore any­thing else.

“I’ve been speak­ing to people at the FAI and we’ve been look­ing into it, but it’s quite com­pli­cated be­cause I was adopted as a kid.

“When I was younger Ire­land tried to call me up but I knew noth­ing about my birth par­ents. It turned out my birth mum’s dad has Ir­ish links, so it was a bit of a re­lief be­cause I’d love to play for Ire­land. My heart has been set on it.

“Other coun­tries have tried to con­tact me. Scot­land did at the end of last sea­son, but when I found out I could play for Ire­land that was it. It’s nice to have a man­ager like Gor­don Strachan ask­ing you, but my mind is made up, al­though noth­ing is guar­an­teed with Ire­land, I need to get things sorted and hope I get a call-up.”

If he needed some­one to talk to for some ad­vice on rep­re­sent­ing the Repub­lic of Ire­land, Ip­swich boss Mick McCarthy was there for him.

As a tough cen­tre-back, McCarthy won 57 caps, then took charge as man­ager for six years – in­clud­ing the in­fa­mous 2002 World Cup.

McGoldrick has sounded out McCarthy as well as some of his Ir­ish team-mates.

Ban­ter

“I spoke with him a few months ago and he told me to pur­sue it,” added McGoldrick. “He said I’d love it. He re­ally gave me en­cour­age­ment and that was great.

“He has some great mem­o­ries of his time with Ire­land as boss, and he said it’s a great set-up to be in­volved in.

“And Stephen Hunt doesn’t stop talk­ing about Ire­land – how many caps he’s got, how many goals he’s scored, how many shots he’s had, how many passes he’s made – he doesn’t shut up!

“There is a bit of ban­ter, but it’s nice to hear him talk­ing me up for a call-up, and there’s a bit of an Ir­ish con­nec­tion at the club which helps, with Daryl Mur­phy and the new sign­ing Paul Green as well.”

Be­tween now and a po­ten­tial in­ter­na­tional cap, though, he must con­cen­trate on Ip­swich’s quest for a play-off place.

McGoldrick’s per­for­mances of late have led to McCarthy prais­ing his striker as the team’s tal­is­man – and he’s lov­ing the aten­tion.

“The gaffer has been great. I’m play­ing ev­ery week at the minute and that gives you so much con­fi­dence,” he con­tin­ued.

“The gaffer trusts me, and that’s a big part of my game and it helps me take my chances when they come along.

“It’s al­ways good to hear pos­i­tive things from the boss, and him call­ing me a tal­is­man for the team shows he has got faith in me.

“With my time at Coven­try as well, I’ve been play­ing reg­u­larly for about 20 months now, and it’s given me my con­fi­dence back af­ter I lost it a bit at For­est.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Im­ages

IR­ISH EYES: David McGoldrick turned down Scot­land. In­set: Ip­swich and for­mer Ire­land boss Mick McCarthy

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