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Kearns playing for an Airtricity XI at the Aviva last July.
Kearns playing for an Airtricity XI at the Aviva last July.
Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

'I wouldn't have been bothered switching allegiance had it not been for Sean McCaffrey' - Kearns

Peterborough United winger Daniel Kearns says the Dundalk manager played a major role in his decision to play for the Republic of Ireland.
Jan 27th 2012, 4:25 PM 932 0

IRELAND U23 INTERNATIONAL Daniel Kearns has emphasised the influence of Dundalk manager Sean McCaffrey in his decision to move from playing for Northern Ireland to the Republic.

The winger, who spent a year at Oriel Park after returning from a spell with West Ham, had featured for Northern Ireland at underage level right up to U19s.

And although he had considered it before, it was the efforts of McCaffrey, who was at the time in charge of Ireland’s U17, U18 and U19 teams, which persuaded him to switch allegiance in 2010.

20-year-old Kearns, now playing in the Npower Championship with Peterborough United, recalls a chat he had with McCaffrey.

“Once I got off the phone, I made my decision straight away, given what he said about the setup and what he thought of me, and what way he felt I could fit into the team,” Kearns told DundalkFC.com.

If it hadn’t been for Sean, I probably wouldn’t have even bothered switching.”

He explained that a move had originally been planned before the U17 European Championship qualifiers but that he feared the clearance wouldn’t go through on time for him to play, so decided to put it off.

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When it did eventually happen, the IFA brought the case to FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport but their attempts to prevent the player from representing a different national team were denied when CAS ruled that he was, in fact, entitled to do so.

Kearns has since featured for the Republic of Ireland at U19, U21 and U23 as well as playing in the Airtiricty XI in the Dublin Super Cup back in July and will be hoping that by progressing with the Posh, he will put himself in line for call-up to the senior squad sometime in the future.

He has made 12 appearances this season for Darren Ferguson’s side, who lie 16th in England’s second tier.

Read the full interview on Dundalk’s website

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Ben Blake

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