The Granny Race begins

Birmingham defender Alex Bruce has decided to declare for the Republic of Ireland, despite being selected in the Northern Ireland under-21 side to face Israel. Bruce was born in Manchester and qualifies to play for both countries through his grandparents. His dad Steve played for Manchester United but never won a full England cap so maybe that’s part of his son’s reason to declare. Either way it seems new Republic manager Steve Staunton, who promised to dust off the Granny Rule on his appointment, has wasted no time in claiming his first player from right under the eyes of Lawrie Sanchez.

  • Henry94

    Ifhe’s as good as his father this is a great capture for an inclusive Ireland.

  • seabhac siulach

    1-0 to the Rep. of Irl.!

  • Good to have young blood coming in but disappointed that he chose Rep.Ireland only because they are a better team. What about the pride in playing for your national team? Doesn’t seem to enter into the equation at all.

  • Henry94

    maca

    What about the pride in playing for your national team?

    If there was a single national team that would be a factor but when there are two teams you might as well go for the best one if it’s all the same to you.

  • Concerned Loyalist

    Henry94,
    “a great capture for an inclusive Ireland”.
    What drivel are you talking about? He’s nowhere near as good as his father. He’s a bit-part player for Stevie Bruce’s Birmingham City and plays in midfield and not defence, if I remember correctly. He’s not a big loss as he wouldn’t start in the Northern Ireland midfield ahead of Steve Davis, Aston Villa’s best player this season, Stuart Elliott, Keith Gillespie or his own Birmingham team-mate, Damien Johnson…

  • As Steve Bruce is generally acknowledged as one of the greatest English players never to have played for England in recent years, maybe it’s Alex’s way of sticking 2 fingers up to the FA.

    By the way, how did the likes of Rooney, Keegan and Keown, all of whom have some degree of Irish ancestry manage to slip through the net?

  • George

    CL,
    he is a defender and played a stormer against Reading in the FA Cup at the weekend. And he is only 21, so he can develop.

    True he may fall by the football wayside but Mark Lawrenson declared for Ireland when he was at Preston and it was only after he went to Liverpool that Jimmy Hill said on British national television “Oh Mark why couldn’t you wait”.

    Apparently Coventry striker Gary McSheffry (23) has also said he wants to sign up for the Republic – born in England but has an Irish father and three Irish grandparents. He is Coventry’s leading scorer this season with 12 goals.

  • darth rumsfeld

    remember his dad was offered the chance to play for NI when he was at Norwich but he was vain enough to wait for the England call that never came. Let’s hope this fate repeats itself for a player who has all the devotion to either country that is on a par with Roy Keane’s success rate in the Scottish Cup.

  • pacman

    It’s desperate the choking some people experience when eating sour grapes.

  • martin ingram

    Hi,

    It always makes me smile how the ROI welcomes English players on board, when they give an interview to the TV its spot the Irish accent.This is not a modern thing some teams were just English D side. Going back into the genes devalues the pride of wearing this shirt. It should be available to a genuine Irishman to claim not some English lad who can not get a game in own country.Even if the Irish lad can not play that well, so what at least the team is a genuine article not a counterfeit operation, maybe “Slab” should pick the team.

    Martin

    PS. Footballs coming home.

  • seabhac siulach

    “remember his dad was offered the chance to play for NI when he was at Norwich but he was vain enough to wait for the England call that never came. Let’s hope this fate repeats itself for a player who has all the devotion to either country that is on a par with Roy Keane’s success rate in the Scottish Cup. ”

    Tut tut, such sour grapes…

    Ah, ‘the call from England that never came’…sounds like that could soon be the melancholy refrain of all unionists in Norn Ireland…
    (After all, the English are even now busy deselecting ye all from their ‘team’…if slowly…)
    So it will soon be a case of persisting with a cast adrift and none too successful Norn Ireland outfit or declaring for a much more successful Rep. of Ireland ‘team’.
    Ye might still have a chance to join this ‘team’ if ye get a move on…I believe ye are all elegible, after all…

  • Carnhill

    A bit rich coming from a country who despite having a a fairly hefty population and who claim to be the home of football have capped a Welshman (Owen), a Canadian (Hargreaves), and a Jamaican (Barnes), amongst others 🙂
    Glass houses an all that, eh !
    That enough to make ye smile ?

  • slug

    inclusive = not exclusively Irish.

  • “inclusive = not exclusively Irish.”

    Gotcha. I hadn’t considered that might be a good thing for “national” football team.

    “So it will soon be a case of persisting with a cast adrift and none too successful Norn Ireland outfit or declaring for a much more successful Rep. of Ireland ‘team’. “

    I think I’d prefer to try and fail as myself than succeed as someone else.

  • wes

    The problem northern ireland have is that they are trying to use the granny rule but can’t attract any players even with it.

  • Ziznivy

    With the attitude that he’s shown today he’s clearly not a great loss to OWC. I’d rather have clearly committed players and Lawrie Sanchez has made it quite clear this is his position as well. He’ll be lucky to get anywhere near the Republic side in any case. Much more important that Roy Miller uncovers some Irish ancestory for super-Kevin Kelbie.

  • Ziznivy

    Christ on a stick.

  • middle-class taig

    I think this outrageous interference with Northern Ireland’s sovereignty provides further evidence to the people of Northern Ireland as to why unionists simply must not share power with Sinn Fein. No surrender to the FAI.

  • Shamo

    “Going nowehere”? He didn’t play for British imperialism as well, did he Martin???

  • Shamo

    Must agree there Marty. Think Mygranny Utd FC might even give them a fair game.

  • wes

    Maik Taylor, the n.i goalkeeper didn’t even have an Irish grandparent and was still able to play.

  • martin ingram

    The last three Martin Ingram pists were not by the real one , Thanks Joker

  • Shamo

    Undoubtedly, that guy is taking the “pists”.

  • martin ingram

    I think we should re-enact that scene from Spartacus. Here goes.

    I AM MARTIN INGRAM!!!

  • audley

    Good to see the english turning their back on the illegal and immoral 6 county statelet. I wonder what the north’s next game is against, will it be Narnia or the lost city of Atlantis??

  • jatrius

    “and anyway northern Ireland is a province not a country which makes me wonder why they have an international team in the first place .I can`t really think of any other international team playing that doesn`t represent a bona fide country ,maybe someone could enlighten me .”

    I can – Wales is a principality not a country, as are San Marino and Monaco.

  • Mike

    Yawn.

    The UK teams invented international football. They played the first ever international matches, and organised the first ever inaternational competition. The first ever competitive international match was right here in Belfast between two UK teams. The first ever international football body, which still controls and amends the laws of the games, was set up by the four UK associations.

    I think that established out credentials to have seperate teams:)

  • “next thing we will see every state in the USA and every province in Canada wanting representation too ,where will it end ?”

    It has ended. In future if it’s not a sovereign state according to the UN then they can’t join FIFA. (Ta Mike)

  • Mike

    You’re welcome maca…glad to be of service;)

  • darth rumsfeld

    dearie me, all these glory hunters posting as RoI fans, celebrating the capture of a player who might just be the next Darren Ferguson or even the next Paul Dalglish.

    And for what? A team bedding down into non-qualifying obscurity like the rest of us-reaping the price of splitting up the all -Ireland IFA for politics lads. Leave out Given and crybaby Duff and there’s not a quality player in a squad of ageing journeymen that peaked a decade ago.

    How are you going to cope with four world cups as spectators? Back to crowds of 10,000 at Dalymount Park, or even worse the new Lansdowne bowl. Well you can all go to Parkhead and Old Trafford and kid yourself you’re not a region of the UK I suppose. At least the GAA was honest about this “foreign” sport.

  • Congal Claen

    I noticed at the weekend that there is an attempt to create a GB&NI or UK football team for the London Olympics. England and NI have agreed. Scotland and Wales have yet to commit. Should it go ahead this may be the precursor to a UK team. It’s what FIFA want, after all.

    Will all our RoI supporters still be as chirpish when ‘we’ as the UK whip your holes on a regular basis? Will all the calls to have a united Ireland team be reflected in a call for the RoI to join a British Isles team? (If you’re talking from a sporting perspective. But then we all know it’s fek all to do with sport)

  • Such anger lads. Ye need some counselling I reckon.

    Darth, I don’t think anyone is celebrating Alex the Bruce’s declaration for Ireland. As far as I am concerned if you want him take him. As for sitting out the next world cups … maybe you could give us some pointers since you’ve sat out quite a few ;-))

    CC
    The UK team will be England with the odd player from NI, Scotland or Wales popping up once in a while. When have England last ‘whipped our holes’?

    Secondly, when there’s no players from NI making the UK team it might be you calling for a UI team ;-))

  • Scotsman

    Scotland and Wales have yet to commit? Scotland has unreservedly ruled itself out of any UK football team.

    There shouldn’t be football at the Olympics anyway- football is bigger than the Olympics.

  • Scotsman

    “Apparently Coventry striker Gary McSheffry (23) has also said he wants to sign up for the Republic – born in England but has an Irish father and three Irish grandparents. He is Coventry’s leading scorer this season with 12 goals.”

    McSheffrey is also touting himself to Scotland-his 4th grandparent’s home.

    Personally, I’d have been happier to have had Aiden McGeady- born in Scotland, parents born in Scotland, than some English guy.

    But apparently Aiden thinks he’s Irish on account of a few holidays in Donegal.

  • In the interests of avoiding any future heated ROI v NI soccer debates, how about this for a compromise – the IFA should do a deal with the FAI agreeing to integrate the 2 associations into an all-Ireland team provided all matches are played at Windsor, the HQ stays in Belfast and the NI crest and kit are retained. After all, at least the IFA was the original association and has its own stadium, unlike “them uns down south” who have to rely on the charity of the IRFU and the GAA whenever they want to play a home game.

    No…I can’t see it working out either…

  • Mark

    I do not want a UK team and think it was a bad move for the IFA to endorse it, even if it is for a tournament that only the African nations take seriously. Presumably the hope is that the team will feature in the legendary clash which we are assured will take place at the Maze – well there is no hope of England plus guests playing outside London and we will end up with Equatorial Guinea vs Panama or some similarly mouthwatering tie.

  • Blackadder

    I don’t care that Bruce hasn’t declared for NI. He’s not a great player and can’t see him making much difference to either set up.

  • Gemmel

    I have played ,coached and managed soccer teams for over 40 years and I can tell you for sure that a gaelic football match consistently offers a lot more end to end action ,skill and entertainment for your money.I would love to see the day when England ,Scotland Wales and the north of the island also have their own G.A.A. teams .

  • Mike

    A Northern Ireland GAA team?

    Interesting proposition, but somehow I think the GAA would be a few decades, if ever, away from being able to cope with something like that.

  • In any case it would be overrepresented by Tyrone and Armagh players!

  • smcgiff

    A UI soccer team?

    Maybe, but without the NI soccer fans thank you if the above is anything to go by.

    Why would the Republic want to join with NI. So we could have Keith Gillespie on the bench?

    Besides, we’ll get the best of the ‘foreign’ grandchildren anyway! Bwaaaha haaaaaaa!!!

  • harpo

    ‘What about the pride in playing for your national team?’

    Maca

    Wouldn’t that be England?

    He isn’t being offered an England place. He’s being offered places on the ‘national teams’ of his grandparents.

  • jim

    “the IFA was the original association and has its own stadium”

    I thought the ifa hired the ground from linfield ?

    Calling Windsor a ‘stadium’ is an over exaggeration.

  • harpo
    “Wouldn’t that be England?”

    Well yeah, exactly. I’d prefer he declared for Rep.Ireland because he considered himself part of the nation not because they are the better of the two teams he has a chance to play for.

  • Doctor Who

    Goats are finny!!!!