Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 5°C Wednesday 3 March 2021

All you need to know about the newest member of the Ireland squad

The Bournemouth midfielder previously represented the North at underage level.

O'Kane has been capped by Ireland at U21 level.
O'Kane has been capped by Ireland at U21 level.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

EUNAN O’KANE WAS the one new face in the provisional Ireland squad named today.

O’Kane is part of a 37-man squad to face Georgia and Gibraltar ahead of next month’s Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Many Ireland supporters will have watched O’Kane make his full Premier League debut against Liverpool last night, but that game aside, not too much is known about the Bournemouth man as far as the average fan is concerned.

With that in mind, here are some facts regarding his career to date…

  • O’Kane began his footballing career as a youth player with Everton, before moving back to Irish football with Coleraine in 2009.
  • After just a year in the Northern Irish league, the teenager was snapped up by Torquay after a successful trial there.
  • The Derry native went on to make over 100 appearances for the League Two side, featuring in the PFA Team of the Year in 2012.
  • O’Kane joined Bournemouth, then a League One side, in the summer of 2012.
  • His career with the Cherries has not been unequivocally positive. In 13 January, O’Kane was penalised for handling in the box after picking up the ball when he believed a free kick had been awarded. The incident, against Walsall, effectively cost Bournemouth the match and ended their 15-game unbeaten run, though manager Eddie Howe defended his player in the moment’s aftermath.
  • O’Kane was a regular as Bournemouth won promotion by finishing second in League One during the 2012-13 season. The midfielder’s good form saw him sign a new three-and-a-half year contract with the club.
  • He also featured regularly for the club for their first season in England’s second tier, but only played sporadically last season owing to injury problems.
  • The 25-year-old has made two Premier League appearances so far — starting against Liverpool last night and coming off the bench on the opening day against Aston Villa.
  • He has previously played for Northern Ireland at underage level, though switched allegiances to the Republic in 2011, making three appearances for the U21 side thereafter. Speaking about the decision recently, he told The Belfast Telegraph: “I just felt my opportunity wasn’t going to come playing for Northern Ireland and the Republic have come and asked me to come and join them, so it’s kind of a no-brainer to take the decision to go to the country that wants you.”
  • O’Kane is on Twitter — his username is @eunan10.

Are Cork City’s title hopes over after back-to-back defeats?>

‘It’s day by day, hour by hour’ – Former Armagh star’s father delivers hospital update>

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

Read next: