Mark Travers praised by Mick M...

Soccer

Mark Travers praised by Mick McCarthy after Premier League debut

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

04:36 7 May 2019


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Mick McCarthy didn't have to think twice about naming Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers in his squad again after the 19-year-old's superb debut for his club last Saturday.

The Republic of Ireland manager gave Travers his first senior call-up for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Gibraltar and Georgia in March.

The Cherries' earned a 1-0 Premier League win against Tottenham, with a massive contribution from the Kildare native who made a string of crucial saves in the first-half.

"Well it was no surprise to me," McCarthy told Off The Ball on Tuesday while revealing that he had spoken very highly of the rookie netminder when Sky pundit Alan McInally called him before the game to get some information on him.

"He's great, he'll be fine. He was terrific, everybody was impressed by him when he came in with us and a lovely young man as well.

"So it was no surprise to me that he played that well and I'm glad I gave him the big up because he didn't let me down.

"[I was] impressed. He's going to be a good goalkeeper. Shay Given made his debut at 19. I'm not suggesting for one minute he's the next Shay Given so don't let me put that in but age is not a problem, it's his ability."

McCarthy impressed by 'very mature' Mark Travers

Travers was impressive speaking in his post-match interview on Sky Sports and it is something McCarthy noted when he joined the Irish senior squad for the first time.

"It is understanding his personality as well, how he handled being in the first-team squad when he came," McCarthy noted.

"He was very calm about it, very mature, for a 19-year-old young man.

"[He's a] really calm individual, trained that way, didn't get flustered. Listened to everything that was said to him by Alan Kelly (Ireland goalkeeping coach) and Alan Kelly thought he was excellent. So it wasn't a surprise to me that he handled it.

"Youngsters can get flustered. The problem is, is when it doesn't go well and you're a youngster, how do you come back from that one.

"If you're a bit older and more mature, it's probably happened to you and you know you'll come back. But listen, we can only applaud him on his first game, he was brilliant."

Another player that the Irish manager is delighted to see doing well is Southampton striker Shane Long who left the last squad with a groin injury.

Long was also suffering with his confidence in front of goal having scored just once in 21 games for the Saints this season but since then he has returned to form, scoring 4 goals in his last 6 Premier League games.

"It's great to see him back firing," McCarthy said with a smile.

"I don't like to see footballers suffering with what they do when they're at their best and they enjoy it so much. And that was Shane.

"Shane's had a great career. He's been a Premier League footballer most of his career. He had injuries, the goals dried up. He came to us and he got injured and had to go back. That was really upsetting for him.

"So to see him coming back and playing, but even more so scoring goals and playing well, that's brilliant."

You can see the full thirty-man squad list here, for the training camp in Portugal at the end of this month.

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


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