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Why McGeady chose Ireland and not Scotland


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https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/soccer/aiden-mcgeady-choosing-ireland-over-scotland-the-consequences-of-the-decision_arid-40880174.html

Aiden McGeady has opened up on his international career choices, and the trouble that they brought on him during his time playing for Celtic.

McGeady was born in Glasgow but was able to represent the Republic due to his grandparents coming from Donegal.

In an interview with BBC Radio Scotland, the 36-year-old outlined how he began playing for the boys in green, highlighting a Scottish FA rule that saw him commit to Ireland.

"I made the decision when I was 14. It’s not like I made the decision when I was 18," McGeady said.

"Scotland had those rules where if you didn’t play for your school team, you didn’t play for the schoolboys, which was fine. Ireland didn’t have that."

It was in fact former Ireland goalkeeper Packie Bonner - while working as a technical director for the FAI at the time -  who reached out to McGeady's family, and the rest is history.

93 senior caps later, it's safe to say the Glaswegian has made a huge impact on Irish football.

But life in Scotland hasn't been easy for the winger since pulling on the Irish jersey, as fans tended not to agree with the decision.

"Going to every away ground and getting booed every time you touched the ball - did that not happen? It did, didn't it?"

"It didn't affect me. Because I think there are plenty of players who have played for other teams, plenty of Scottish players that have played for other teams.

"Did Scott Arfield not play for Canada? Brian McLean, he chose Northern Ireland. Did they get the same abuse as me? Why did I get that abuse?"

And the abuse often spilled out of the stadium, too.

"I'd get it everywhere I went off the park too - 'traitor, turncoat, Judas'," he said.

"Not from everybody but from proper Scotland fans, which there aren't many of in Glasgow, it’s mainly Ireland or England isn’t it?

"It's just small-minded individuals - that's all it is. Was it because I played for Celtic, because I played for Ireland?

"Hearts, Hibs, Motherwell, Falkirk, everywhere. Booed everywhere I went, wanting me to fail, didn't happen to anybody else, did it?

"James McCarthy got the same didn’t he as well? He got the same, plenty of other players have switched allegiance to countries, loads of them, but they’ve not all got that.

"In a way, it's a compliment because, if they didn't think you were a good player, they wouldn't bother."

An extremely open interview from the Sunderland man, that's for sure.

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