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Clockwork Orange: Barry Maguire still hopeful of representing Ireland

After seven years of tentative flirting by the FAI, it was actually Giovanni Trapattoni who arranged the first formal meeting with the then Utrecht midfielder in 2011.

Barry Maguire: 'I’m a United fan, so I always loved Roy Keane.'
Barry Maguire: 'I’m a United fan, so I always loved Roy Keane.'
Image: EMPICS Sport

AHEAD OF EACH of the 64 games Giovanni Trapattoni oversaw as Ireland manager, the conservative Italian faced the same infuriating question: ‘Where is he?’

It started with Andy Reid, then Stephen Ireland, and was followed by a myriad Darron Gibson, Anthony Stokes, Wes Hoolahan, James McCarthy, and Seamus Coleman.

Yet, ironically, after seven years of tentative flirting by the FAI, it was actually Trapattoni who arranged the first formal meeting with Barry Maguire in 2011.

“I played in the Europa League for Utrecht against Celtic two months previously and they told me they saw that game”, Maguire told TheScore.ie. “They invited me over to Dublin in October to go and watch the Russia game. Afterwards, I spoke with Trapattoni in a short meeting. We talked about the game, my future, and maybe coming into the Irish squad.

“There were some upcoming friendly matches in March against Macedonia and Uruguay. But, there were some issues at my own club and I didn’t play again until the summer. Ultimately, I didn’t get an invitation because I was no longer playing regularly for my own team.”

Maguire, the 24-year-old defensive midfielder, qualifies for Ireland through his Dublin-born father. Born and raised in the Netherlands, Maguire dreamed of playing for Oranje but kept his options open, regarding Ireland, as a teenager.

“When I was younger, I went over to Dublin a few times. Mostly, it was every couple of years — not every year. Our family would come over to Holland one year and, the following year, we would go over to them.

“When I was 15, I played a friendly match for Ireland. It was a long time ago, but they had never seen me play before and only put me on for 15 minutes. That was a little bit strange for me. Also, I only spoke to Wim Koevermans [Ireland's then high performance director] once or twice when I was over.”

Britain Soccer Europa League Liverpool's Jonjo Shelvey, left, keeps the ball from FC Utrecht's Barry Maguire during their Europa League soccer match at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Wednesday Dec. 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Tim Hales) Source: Associated Press

Ironically, Maguire even faced Ireland’s under-19′s with the Netherlands at Richmond Park in 2009.

However, despite previously pulling out of Ireland’s under-21 squad for a match against Germany, Maguire declared for Ireland in 2010.

Currently playing for his hometown club Den Bosch – who are fourth in the Eerste Divisie – Maguire remains hopeful that he will one day get a call-up to the senior squad.

“Being from a Dutch background might help, but the Premier League and Championship are good competitions and maybe even better competitions. The Dutch leagues are different types of competitions, but there are good players here and it’s an especially good environment for young players.

“I really admire Roy Keane a lot. I’m a United fan, so I always loved Roy Keane. He always did very well as a player and together with Martin O’Neill, I think it’s a very good partnership to lead the Irish national team.”

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About the author:

Ciaran Kelly

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