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Dublin: 7°C Thursday 22 October 2020

3 Irish Euro 2016 hopefuls who had a good weekend and 3 who didn’t

Seamus Coleman, Stephen Ward and Ciaran Clark are among those to feature in our weekly round-up.

Updated at 19.45

WHETHER IT’S PLAYERS all but assured of a place in the team barring injury or those on the periphery of the squad, we take a weekly look at Irish footballers’ performances as the countdown to Euro 2016 continues.

3 who had a good weekend

1. Seamus Coleman

Britain Soccer FA Cup Source: AP/Press Association Images

THE FULL-BACK was excellent in Everton’s 2-0 FA Cup win over Chelsea. On average, full-backs receive more of the ball than any other player, and one strength of Coleman’s play is his distribution and composure in possession, which was regularly apparent at Goodison Park at the weekend.

2. Aiden McGeady

Source: NFFCTube/YouTube

MCGEADY HELPED SHEFFIELD Wednesday end a five-game winless streak, as they beat Nottingham Forest 3-0. The winger, who is on loan from Everton, opened the scoring with a clinical finish. With nine games to play, automatic promotion seems unlikely, but the Owls are very much in the playoff hunt, as they currently sit sixth.

3. Stephen Ward

Source: officialburnleyfc/YouTube

Ward scored the opener in Burnley’s 3-1 victory over Huddersfield to put them seven points clear at the top of the Championship. The Irish international has turned his season around, as having failed to start a game in the league until 28 December, he is now a regular in the team.

3 who didn’t

1. Ciaran Clark

Soccer - Pre-Season Friendly - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Aston Villa - Molineux Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Clark was again on the bench as another limp Aston Villa performance pushed them closer to relegation. In total, Clark has started just 11 of Villa’s 30 Premier League matches this season.

2. Paul McShane

Reading v Crystal Palace - FA Cup - Quarter Final - Madejski Stadium Source: Nick Potts

Overall, it’s been a decent season for McShane. The 30-year-old Wicklow native was made captain of Reading following his arrival from Hull and he’s featured regularly for the side that are currently 15th in the Championship. However, it was a night to forget on Friday, as McShane and fellow Ireland international Stephen Quinn were part of the side beaten 2-0 by Crystal Palace in the FA Cup quarter-final.

3. Jon Walters

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Stoke City v Leicester City - Britannia Stadium Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

The 32-year-old attacker was an 89th minute sub in Stoke’s 2-1 loss to Southampton, for whom Irish colleague Shane Long played a starring role. Despite scoring 11 goals in all competitions since the start of the campaign, Walters has developed into somewhat of a squad player for Stoke, starting in just over half (16) of their league games this season.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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