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Dublin: 0°C Friday 16 April 2021

Stephen Ireland's trial with Championship club hampered by injury

The 31-year-old Irish midfielder has been training with Bolton Wanderers as he searches for a new club.

Stephen Ireland spent five seasons with Stoke City.
Stephen Ireland spent five seasons with Stoke City.
Image: Getty Images

FORMER IRISH INTERNATIONAL Stephen Ireland has been on trial at Bolton Wanderers ahead of the start of the 2018-19 season in England.

However,  his hopes of convincing Bolton boss Phil Parkinson that he’s worthy of a contract have been hampered by injury.

After training with the Championship club last week, the 31-year-old midfielder was expected to feature in Saturday’s pre-season friendly against Spanish side Girona.

A calf injury forced Ireland to miss the 0-0 draw. He was also absent from last night’s 3-1 defeat to non-league outfit Guiseley AFC.

Ireland, who has also previously played for Manchester City, Aston Villa and Newcastle United, left Stoke City after five seasons when his contract expired following the conclusion of the 2017-18 campaign.

The Corkman’s career has been scuppered by a series of injury problems in recent years. When Stoke were knocked out of the FA Cup by Coventry City back in January, Ireland returned from a double leg-break to play his first competitive game in 609 days.

Bolton, who narrowly avoid relegation to England’s third tier last season, will begin their Championship campaign away to West Bromwich Albion a week on Saturday.

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Paul Dollery

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