By Alan Duffy
Young wideman James McClean has enjoyed a superb breakthrough season with Sunderland, with his surging left wing runs even earning him a place in the Republic of Ireland’s preliminary squad for EURO 2012. However, not everyone is happy with the midfielder’s success in securing a berth with the Boys In Green.
Derry-born McClean initially played for Northern Ireland at youth and U21 levels, but like many players from that part of Ireland including Darron Gibson and Marc Wilson, he eventually decided to represent the Republic. That decision, as you can imagine, didn’t go down too well with some people in Northern Ireland, and Giovanni Trapattoni’s decision to include McClean in his EURO 2012 squad has only added fuel to the fire.
After expressing his joy at being included in the Irish senior squad, the 23-year-old received a number of death threats on Twitter. The player himself responded with good humour, Tweeting:
“Love the dogs’ abuse am gettin off shock N.I fans, just worry about watchin ur own country at the euros… oh wait #mybad #awkward haha.”
However, the PSNI are now looking into the matter, with a spokesperson saying:
“We don’t discuss individual cases, however, if we receive information that a person’s life may be at risk we will inform them accordingly. We never ignore anything which may put an individual at risk.”
Let’s hope it’s nothing more than Twitter-buffoons acting the eejit.
Here’s the full Irish squad, by the way. Norwich duo of Wes Hoolahan and Anthony Pilkington (who is yet to formally declare for Ireland) miss out…
Squad: Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), David Forde (Millwall); John O’Shea (Sunderland), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Stephen Ward (Wolves), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa), Sean St Ledger (Leicester), Darren O’Dea (Leeds), Kevin Foley (Wolves); Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Keith Andrews (West Brom), Keith Fahey (Birmingham), Darron Gibson (Everton), Damien Duff (Fulham), Aiden McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Stephen Hunt (Wolves), James McClean (Sunderland); Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Shane Long, Simon Cox (both West Brom), Jon Walters (Stoke).
Stand-by: Darren Randolph (Motherwell), Paul McShane (Crystal Palace), Paul Green (Unattached), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Andy Keogh (Millwall).