Former Irish international footballer Kevin Doyle joined OTB’s John Duggan, broadcaster Johnny Ward and the Irish Independent’s Dan McDonnell on Football Saturday this afternoon, reviewing all things Irish Football and more.
Reading forward and Irish footballer Shane Long made headlines this week when he discussed how current Irish manager Stephen Kenny had handed his No.9 jersey on to newcomer to the Football Ireland squad, Adam Idah.
Describing the ordeal as “embarrassing and degrading”, the 88 time capped striker told the ‘Kay And Ash, Share Your Voice’ Podcast about the incident and the back and forth was discussed with his former teammate Kevin Doyle on OTB’s Football Saturday today.
“I’m slightly biased here because I’m good friends with Shane, I was over with him a couple of weeks ago” begins Doyle.
“Shane is the nicest person you’ll ever meet, I just think he wanted a little heads up from the manager beforehand to say ‘well by the way, your No.9 shirt, we’re going to be handing it to Idah in this squad’ or whatever” he continues.
“From what I know he only realised when he was handed the shirt that it wasn’t his No.9.”
Going on to say that “Shane is a legend for Ireland”, Doyle discloses that he “could have deserved a little tap on the shoulder five minutes before just saying ‘I know you’re usually number nine but we’re handing it over to the next generation now’ before you go into the dressing room and hand it over.”
“I think that’s what annoyed Shane a little bit, but like he’s not lost sleep over it I think it’s been people talking about it more than Shane was worried about it” he explains.
Football writer Dan McDonnell clarifies that “it’s the manager picks the numbers” and not the kitman, and goes on to say that he “can’t wait to see what Stephen Kenny says about it.”
“Shane Long hadn’t been in the squad…I wonder did Kenny even twig that the No.9 was even his shirt, which seems mad” McDonnell adds.
“Is it just a complete miscommunication on a number of levels? I don’t know.”
“I’d imagine so” Doyle responds.
“I’d say Stephen just wasn’t even thinking and I’m sure if he was doing it again, he might just have a quick word with Shane because the number meant to a lot to him.”
“When you’re a player you’re so mentally wired, there’s so much adrenaline, you’re on edge all the time that little things can annoy you and put you off.
“In a few years I’m sure he won’t care but just at the time, when you’re in that squad you’re just on a knife-edge when you’re fully fit and playing, you see things differently when you aren’t.”
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