Stephen Ireland: Wikis

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Stephen Ireland
Stephen Ireland.jpg
Personal information
Full name Stephen James Ireland
Date of birth 22 August 1986 (1986-08-22) (age 23)
Place of birth Cork, Ireland
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[1]
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Manchester City
Number 7
Youth career
1994–2001 Cobh Ramblers
2001–2005 Manchester City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2005– Manchester City 135 (16)
National team
2005 Republic of Ireland U21 1 (0)
2006–2007 Republic of Ireland 6 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 10:29, 7 February 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:08, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Stephen James Ireland (born 22 August 1986[2] in Cork, Ireland) is an Irish footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Manchester City in the English Premier League. He was also eligible for England and Italy.[3]

Contents

Club career

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Cobh Ramblers

Ireland started his career in Cobh, playing junior football for Cobh Ramblers, a team his father Michael had previously played for.[4] As a schoolboy Ireland had trials with a number of British clubs, though several were discouraged by his Osgood-Schlatter disease, which he suffered from in his mid-teens.

Manchester City

At the age of 15 he joined Manchester City. Ireland played for Manchester City's first team in a number of friendlies in the 2005 pre season, and made his competitive debut on the 18 September 2005 against Bolton Wanderers, coming on as an 81st minute substitute.[5] He subsequently made his first competitive start against Doncaster Rovers on 21 September 2005. He won the Man of the Match award on his first Premier League start against Everton on the 2 October 2005.[6][7] He then started the next six matches for City, which won him a contract to keep him at the club until 2009.[8] In the remainder of the season he participated in around half of Manchester City's matches, ending the season with a total of 16 starts and 12 substitute appearances.[9] On 26 December, Ireland scored his first Premier League goal for City, a left footed volley from 20 yards. The goal proved to be the only goal in a vital 1–0 victory at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane. Ireland's second goal for City came against Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of FA Cup. His goal, scored just moments before the interval, was created by man of the match Joey Barton in front of 25,000 spectators at the City of Manchester Stadium. City went on to win 2–1.

On 18 February, Ireland rounded off the scoring for Manchester City in a 3–1 away win over Preston North End in the fifth round of the FA Cup with a stunning volley from outside the area.

Having started the 2007-08 Premier League season well with City, Ireland scored the only goal, a volley, in a 1–0 home win over Sunderland. His celebration for the goal courted some controversy, Ireland dropped his shorts to reveal a pair of underpants sporting the Superman logo, however the FA decided a warning would be the fairest course of action. Then in November against Reading he scored to keep Manchester City's home record at 100%. Two weeks later he was sent off in the 2–1 loss at Tottenham Hotspur and received a 3 match ban. However, Ireland erased that memory with a goal in the reverse fixture, which led Manchester City to a 2–1 home victory over Spurs.[10] He scored his final goal of the season with a sweet strike in the 2–3 loss to Fulham. He got the ball just outside the left side of the penalty box and curved it over Kasey Keller into the top right corner. He finished the 2007–08 season with four goals.

He returned to the first team in a good individual and team performance in the 3–0 win against West Ham. He finished the match with two assists, crossing for Elano to strike home. He opened his tally in the 3-0 away win at Sunderland. He scored again the in 2–2 draw at Newcastle United on 20 October. He scored both goals in the 2–2 draw at Hull City on 16 November, [11] and opened the score in the successive league match against Arsenal. After netting in a 2-1 win over Everton, Ireland took his seasons tally to 13 in a memorable season for the Irishman.

On 20 May 2009, he was named Manchester City's Senior Player of the Year for his blistering performances throughout the 2008–09 season and as a result has secured a new 5-year contract, keeping him at the club until 2014.[12]. He later became the Greater Manchester player of the Year.[13]

He opened his account in the 2009/10 Season with an opening day goal in the 0-2 win at Blackburn Rovers.[14]

He was substituted against Fulham after complaining of dizziness throughout the game. There were fears that his vigorous training scheme he went through over the summer may have led him to have a minor cardiac arrest, although these rumours were quickly denied. In the fourth round of the Carling Cup Ireland scored a curling shot against Scunthorpe United to help send his team to the quarter finals.[15].

International career

Ireland represented Ireland at under-15, under-16 and under-17 level,[4], but when called up to under-18 level he had a dispute with coach Brian Kerr after he was left out of the side and told to watch the match from the stands. The team lost the match 4–0, and Kerr suggested Ireland would be involved in the next match. When Ireland was again left out, he requested to return to his club, and Kerr informed him that he would never play for the Republic of Ireland while Kerr was manager.[16] Shortly afterward, Kerr became manager of the senior Republic of Ireland team, leading Ireland to briefly consider choosing to represent either England or Italy, for whom he was also eligible.[17]

In January 2006 Kerr was replaced as Republic of Ireland manager by Steve Staunton. In Staunton's first squad, for a match against Sweden, Ireland received a senior call up for the first time. Ireland came on a substitute in the match, replacing John O'Shea.[18] He scored his first international goal on 7 October 2006 in a 5–2 loss to Cyprus.

On the 7 February 2007 Stephen Ireland saved the Republic of Ireland from a humiliating draw with San Marino with a last minute injury time goal. Final score was 2–1.

On 24 March 2007, he scored the first ever goal in Croke Park against Wales.[19] This was his third international goal in just four matches. He also scored against Slovakia in Bratislava on 8 September 2007.

Controversy

In September 2007, Ireland was at the centre of controversy when, in the immediate aftermath of a Republic of Ireland international match and days before their crunch game against the Czechs, coach Steve Staunton informed him of a telephone call just received from his girlfriend reporting the death of his maternal grandmother. On returning the call Staunton was able to ascertain that this was in fact a fabrication designed to excuse Ireland from international duty and allow him to return home with minimal opposition. Now consigned to deceit Ireland confirmed the dead grandmother story to Staunton who quickly consented to Ireland's compassionate leave on these grounds, a private jet was chartered for his return.

However the media quickly discovered that Ireland's grandmother was not dead, at which point Ireland announced it was his paternal grandmother who died but yet again, reporters discovered that Ireland's paternal grandmother was also still alive, and her relatives had threatened to sue one newspaper that reported her death. Ireland changed his story again, saying one of his grandfathers had divorced and it was his second wife who had died. That was also quickly discovered to be untrue.[20]

Ireland eventually came out with the truth, admitting he had invented a reason to leave the Irish team in order to visit his girlfriend in Cork, who had a miscarriage. "I decided at that stage that I must tell the truth and admit I had told lies," Ireland said. "I realise now it was a massive mistake to say my grandmothers had died and I deeply regret it."[21]

Irish coach Staunton was furious at Ireland. The coach's mood wasn't helped by the fact Ireland lost 1–0 to the Czechs, which effectively ended their hopes of qualifying for the Euro 2008 championships. Ireland said his girlfriend had miscarried and that "caused us to panic." The FAI as well as football fans over the country were left to wonder why he hadn't simply told the truth, as a miscarriage would have been sufficient to allow Ireland compassionate leave.

"Jessica (his girlfriend) said she was very lonely and wanted me to come home. She thought they might let me home quicker if they thought my grandmother had died," Ireland explained.

He has not played for Ireland since this controversy.

Exile

On 20 October 2008, Ireland participated in a pre-match interview on Setanta Ireland, during which he stated that he was watching the Irish team regularly and that they were doing well. He also stated he would not be back in the foreseeable future.

Giovanni Trapattoni's desire to return Ireland to the national squad has been well documented in the Irish press (he and Liam Brady have allegedly met with the player with the hope of enticing him back), and levels of frustration among the Irish public over the situation have since intensified as the player produced exceptional form at Manchester City in the 2008–09 season.

Speculation abounded that Ireland might make himself available for a call-up to the national squad to face Georgia on 11 February 2009.[22] However, when the squad was announced on 19 January, the player's name did not feature, and Liam Brady took the opportunity to explain to the press that he and Trapattoni had previously come to an agreement with the player whereby he would inform them when he felt like playing again, and that so far no contact had been made from the player's end.[23]

On 19 February it was reported that Ireland had intimated to Manchester City team mate Shay Given that he would like to represent Ireland at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and that a return to the international fold was imminent, but when the Irish squad to face Bulgaria on 28 March and Italy on 1 April was announced, his name was once again omitted. Trapattoni revealed at the accompanying press conference that he himself did not believe Ireland would return, claiming that when he had met with the player months previously he had appeared withdrawn and reluctant to look the Ireland manager in the eye.[24]

Ireland himself has now said that he will probably not return to the national team: "I always say 'never say never' because it's hard not to, but I don't think I'll ever go back."[25]

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 7 October 2006 Neo GSP Stadium, Nicosia  Cyprus 1–0 2–5 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
2. 2 February 2007 Serravalle  San Marino 2–1 2–1 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
3. 24 March 2007 Croke Park, Dublin  Wales 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying
4. 8 September 2007 Tehelné pole, Bratislava  Slovakia 1–0 2–2 UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying

Club statistics

As of 21 November 2009.

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2005-06 Manchester City Premier League 24 0 3 0 1 0 - - 28 0
2006-07 24 1 4 2 1 0 - - 29 3
2007-08 33 4 3 0 3 0 - - 39 4
2008-09 35 9 0 0 1 1 14 3 50 13
2009-10 18 2 0 0 3 1 - - 21 3
Career Total 134 15 10 2 9 2 14 3 167 23

References

  1. ^ Stephen Ireland squad profile. Manchester City. Retrieved on 2009-05-30.
  2. ^ http://www.stephenireland.com/biography/ Official website
  3. ^ http://www.stephenireland.com/biography/
  4. ^ a b "Player profile - Stephen Ireland". Cobh Ramblers. http://www.cobhramblers.com/Schoolboys_Premierleague.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  5. ^ "Player profile - 7 Stephen Ireland". ESPN. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/players/profile?id=46525&cc=5739. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  6. ^ "Mills' wonder goal inspires City as Moyes remains rock bottom". The Independent. 2005-10-03. http://sport.independent.co.uk/football/premiership/article316719.ece. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  7. ^ "Ireland impresses as City add to Everton woes". Irish Independent. 2005-10-03. http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=94&si=1480827&issue_id=13086. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  8. ^ "Ireland signs new contract with City". RTÉ. 2005-10-2]. http://www.rte.ie/sport/2005/1026/irelands.html. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  9. ^ James, Gary (2006). Manchester City - The Complete Record. Derby: Breedon. ISBN 1-85983-512-0.  p479
  10. ^ Stephen Ireland avoids censure for flash pants Daily Telegraph (2007-11-06)
  11. ^ Hart break England good break Ireland. Daily Mail
  12. ^ Man City secure new Ireland deal BBC Sport; 28 May 2009
  13. ^ [http://www.goal.com/en-india/news/105/main/2009/10/14/1560282/manchester-citys-stephen-ireland-scoops-award<ref
  14. ^ Emmanuel Adebayor's debut strike puts Manchester City on the road to a winning start The Guardian; 15 August 2009
  15. ^ Ireland in heart attack scare The Sun; 25 September 2009
  16. ^ "Ireland sets his sights on international return". RTÉ. 2005-12-20. http://www.rte.ie/sport/2005/1220/irelands.html. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  17. ^ ""I would love to play for Ireland, absolutely love it"". Manchester City v Birmingham City match programme. 2005-12-17. , p11
  18. ^ "Rep of Ireland 3–0 Sweden". BBC. 2006-03-01. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/4764816.stm. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  19. ^ "Ireland's the victor in every sense". Sunday Telegraph. 2007-03-25. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2007/03/25/sfgire25.xml. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  20. ^ "Ireland sorry after Republic lie". BBC Sport. 2007-09-14. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6995114.stm. Retrieved 2008-07-05. 
  21. ^ http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2007/sep/15/newsstory.sport4
  22. ^ "City ace Ireland hints at return to green fold". Irish Independent. 2008-12-15. http://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/city-ace-ireland-hints-at-return-to-green-fold-1574870.html. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  23. ^ "Brady blasts Ireland reports: City star remains in self-imposed exile, according to assistant". Sky Sports News. 2009-01-19. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11095_4817799,00.html. 
  24. ^ "Ireland finds door shut". Evening Herald. 2009-03-17. http://www.herald.ie/sport/soccer/ireland-finds-door-shut-1675347.html. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  25. ^ Interview - Stephen Ireland BBC Sport (2009-05-09) Retrieved on 2009-05-10

External links


Simple English

Stephen Ireland
File:Stephen
Personal information
Full name Stephen James Ireland
Date of birth 22 August 1986 (1986-08-22) (age 24)
Place of birth    Cork, Republic of Ireland
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Manchester City
Number 7
Senior clubs
Years Club
2005- Manchester City
National team
2006-2007 Republic of Ireland

Stephen Ireland (born 22 August 1986) is an Irish football player. He plays for Manchester City.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
EnglandLeague FA Cup Football League Cup EuropeTotal
2005/06Manchester CityPremier League2403010-280
2006/072414210-293
2007/083343030-394
2008/0935900111435013
2009/10
CountryEngland 116141026114314620
Total 116141026114314620

International career statistics

[1]

Republic of Ireland national team
YearAppsGoals
200621
200743
Total64

References


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