The new guy: Who is Rob Elliot?

The Newcastle United goalkeeper has been called up to the Ireland squad for the first time this week.

Elliot between the sticks for Newcastle.
Elliot between the sticks for Newcastle.
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Archive/Press Association Images

ROB ELLIOT WILL have been getting to know his new international team-mates over the past two days having receiving a call-up to the Irish senior team for the first time.

With third choice goalkeeper Darren Randolph sidelined by a shoulder injury picked up in Birmingham’s defeat to Bolton over the weekend, caretaker manager Noel King has chosen to draft in the English-born stopper.

At 27, former Ireland U19 international Elliot has had to wait awhile for the call-up and gets the nod having made significant progress at club level over the past year.

An outfield player as a child, he took up goalkeeping at the age of 15 and a year later was signed up by his boyhood club Charlton Athletic. During one of two loan spells at Accrington Stanley he helped them win promotion to the Football League and was voted Player of the Year.

After returning to his parent club, Elliot’s patience paid off as he obtained the number one jersey in 2008.

imageElliot playing for Charlton back in 2003. Credit: Matthew Ashton/EMPICS Sport

Two years ago, Newcastle United came calling and Elliot made a switch to Tyneside. Despite making a solitary appearance for the Magpies in his first season, Alan Pardew handed him chances in the Europa League, FA Cup and league cup in 2012.

And when first choice Tim Krul was forced out of action with ankle and shoulder injuries at the back end of last season, Elliot impressed while filling in between the sticks.

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The Dutchman has been reinstated this term and although  Elliot accepts that he will be back-up goalkeeper for the time being, he insisted last month that he will be keeping his rival on his toes.

For Ireland, Elliot is hoping to make an impression during this week’s training sessions ahead of the final two World Cup qualifiers against Germany and Kazakhstan and push for a place in future squads when the new manager is put in place.

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Ben Blake

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