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Thread: Matt Doherty (D Wolves b.1992)

  1. #201
    Capped Player DeLorean's Avatar
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    Lovely goal it was too, nice football and a header not too dissimilar to his one against Denmark.

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    Scored tonight against Espanyol, first Irish player to score in the knock out stages of the Europa League in five years

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    Another goal again today. Got his form back after looking leggy around Christmas. Ghosted into the box brilliantly and providing great link up play so far in the final third throughout. Him and Egan have to be the mainstay of our team with three at the back. Give them license and they could cause problems against anyone.

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    Coleman has gone off injured early for Everton against Man United so it could be brilliant timing for this tilt of form.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MancIrishWolf View Post
    Another goal again today. Got his form back after looking leggy around Christmas. Ghosted into the box brilliantly and providing great link up play so far in the final third throughout. Him and Egan have to be the mainstay of our team with three at the back. Give them license and they could cause problems against anyone.
    Rarely a week goes by without me yearning to myself for the 3-5-2. Because rarely a week goes by without either Doherty or Stevens scoring or assisting in the top league in England. Instead, Stevens plays flat and Doherty plays (mostly) sub whilst we go with a very samey 4-3-3 which looks more 4-5-1.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olé Olé View Post
    Rarely a week goes by without me yearning to myself for the 3-5-2. Because rarely a week goes by without either Doherty or Stevens scoring or assisting in the top league in England. Instead, Stevens plays flat and Doherty plays (mostly) sub whilst we go with a very samey 4-3-3 which looks more 4-5-1.
    Tell me about it! Especially now Doherty’s just got an assist. However, knowing Mick from his time at Molineux, as much as you love his character, his pig-headed stubbornness is usually his ultimate downfall. Hopefully things will change under Kenny aided by the emergence of O’Shea, Collins and Masterson at the back.

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  10. #207
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    nominated for February Player of the Month: https://plpotm.easports.com/
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    All goals, yellow and red cards tweeted in real time on twitter and facebook

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    300th appearance for Wolves yesterday

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    Great piece on Doherty on the Athletic: https://theathletic.com/1962394/2020...land-mccarthy/

    A decade of Doherty – the £75k bargain second only to Alexander-Arnold in stats

    The phone call that would change Matt Doherty’s life forever came as a shock. Not because a big Premier League club in Wolverhampton Wanderers were potentially interested in signing him — but because he’d played really poorly against them just a few days earlier.
    It was 10 years ago this month that Doherty swapped Ireland for England, Bohemians for Wolves, carpet cleaner for professional footballer. The transfer cost a paltry £75,000. A decade and 300 appearances later, Doherty is one of the standout performers in a top-seven Premier League side that features players who’ve won the European Championship, a Mexican superstar who could be worth £80 million and the fastest player in the country.
    With 15 goals and 15 assists in the past two seasons, he’s second only to Trent Alexander-Arnold as the Premier League’s most productive right-back/right wing-back.
    His head coach Nuno Espirito Santo — whom Doherty has hailed as the best he’s ever worked with — rarely dishes out high praise for individual players. “He’s a good option for us,” is about as good as it gets.
    So when Nuno says this, it’s with meaning: “Matt is amazing. He has been massive for us — I’m very, very happy with him.
    “He never says no to a run, to a challenge, he likes to go into the box… fantastic.”
    It’s a far cry from his Wolves debut, when one person lambasted and wrote him off after just a few seconds. But more of that later. First, back to that life-changing call.
    He was only 18 at the time, but Doherty had already endured a fair few knock-backs in the form of a dozen trials with English and Scottish clubs that went nowhere.
    Time and again, the teenager — who started out as a centre-forward before moving back to midfield and then central defence, a position he played until his move to Wolves — would cross the Irish Sea then return only with a “thanks, but no thanks”.
    Celtic, Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Sheffield United, Burnley, Charlton Athletic, Derby County and Hull City were among the clubs who rejected him, but his belief that he would soon realise his Premier League debut was unstinting.
    Tom Doherty, his father and a huge influence on his career and life, takes up the story.
    “I said to him one day, ‘Matt, what do you think about going to school anymore?’ He says, ‘Not for me’. So he came and worked with me for a year at Aqua Dry (the Dublin carpet cleaning business Tom has run for 40 years). I would say to him from time to time, ‘Matt, where do you think you’ll play?’ and the answer would be ‘Premier League’. A week goes by, same question… ‘Premier League, Dad’.
    “He was very good at the carpet cleaning! I’ve five girls and two boys and they’re all terrific workers, as is their mother Joni — it’s kind of a thing in our family.
    “There were times he’d work with me on Saturday morning, go and play for Bohemians, and then come back in the afternoon to finish off the work. He really understood what work was in that year, and also the many chats we had together.
    “I thought that, by the age of 21, he’d need to be out of Ireland. He was out by 18.”
    Doherty didn’t actually ever play a competitive game for Bohemians but found himself featuring in a friendly against Mick McCarthy’s Wolves on July 17, 2010. Bohemians had played a Premier League game the night before, beating Sligo Rovers 2-0, meaning the kids featured 24 hours later. Wolves, whose chief scout Dave Bowman had already taken a shine to Doherty, asked specifically if he could play.
    McCarthy tells The Athletic: “Dave knew about Doc, and we’d spoken about watching him. I think they played him in the game so that we could see him. Taff (Ian Evans, McCarthy’s assistant) liked him too. We all liked what we saw and thought he’d got potential.”
    Doherty Sr has a slightly different take on that day: “I thought he was quite poor in that game, to be honest. He was taken off 10 minutes into the second half.
    “The game came and went and then Pat Fenlon (Bohemians’ manager) phoned Matt a few days later. Matt thought it was because he needed him to play against Aston Villa a few days later (in another friendly)… but he goes, ‘Would you like to go to Wolves on trial?’ It wasn’t a shock in general that he’d got a trial but it was a shock in the context of him having played badly against Wolves, in my opinion.”
    Doherty then featured in a behind-closed-doors game at Compton Park and gave a good account of himself, setting up a goal for Andy Keogh.
    Wolves made their move, paying £75,000 in a deal that included a sell-on clause at Bohemians’ request (they’re still waiting…).
    “I’m in America and I get a call from Matt saying they want to sign him…I said, ‘Sit tight until I get home’,” Tom tells The Athletic.
    “We went over, met Jez Moxey (chief executive) and Richard Skirrow (club secretary) and Mick, and he signed. Matt was meant to come home with me… but he wouldn’t come home! He said he’d wanted to play in England for so long, he didn’t want to come home, so I sent him some clothes and that was it. He’s seldom been home since.
    “Matt looks really laid back but he is so determined. He wasn’t coming home. This was his opportunity.”
    Some young players suffer from homesickness but Doherty had no such problems settling at his new club. Helped by a large Irish contingent at Wolves, with Keogh, Kevin Doyle, Kevin Foley (who used to drive Doherty to training), Aaron McCarey and Stephen Hunt, Doherty soon fitted in. Hunt once gave Doherty and some of the other young lads money and paid for their taxis for a Christmas night out.
    Five months after signing, Doherty’s debut came in an FA Cup tie at Doncaster Rovers. Wolves drew 2-2 and Doherty, wearing number 46, was part of a back four with Richard Stearman, Christophe Berra and George Elokobi.
    Dad Tom remembers the day fondly. Well, most of it.
    “It’s the first minute of the game,” he says. “And all of a sudden, some guy sat behind us screams at the top of his lungs, ‘DOHERTY, YOU’RE ****IN’ ****E’.
    “He probably hadn’t even touched the ball! As a dad and as a family, I guess it’s one of those things you have to get used to… you don’t expect it. We moved seats at half-time.”
    The following season, after a couple of League Cup appearances, the biggest moment of Doherty’s life came on September 24, 2011. A Premier League debut for Wolves. At Anfield.

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    Tom recalls: “I was watching it on the telly. Two ofmy daughters are Liverpool fans and they’re cheering for… Liverpool. I said,‘If you’re going to do that, watch it in a different room!’, so out they went.
    “Mattwas on the bench and then at half-time, he’s started warming up on the pitch.He’s coming on. I couldn’t believe it — I’m shaking in my boots. I’m finewatching games now but this was his debut. It’s Liverpool, it’s Steven Gerrard,it’s Anfield… I’m thinking, ‘Please don’t pass the ball to him. Please don’tmake a mistake’.
    “Buthe did just fine."
    Stillonly 19, Doherty’s next move was out on loan to gain first-team experience,first with Hibernian in Scotland, where he played 17 times, including in aScottish Cup final (though the less said about that 5-1 defeat to arch-rivalsHearts the better).

    Itwas Fenlon, who as Bohemians manager had sold Doherty to Wolves, who took himto Edinburgh having become Hibernian boss.
    Fenlontells The Athletic: “He always had that belief he could be a player.Always. He didn’t do brilliant at Hibs but he was in a team that wasstruggling. We were fighting relegation and I’d say it was a big help to Mattfrom an experience point of view.
    “Otherplayers might have struggled after that but he had the confidence in his ability.
    “Hisbackground and his upbringing is excellent. He’s got good manners. He’s a good,quiet lad who gets on with his job. I always go back to his belief, hisdedication and his attitude when thinking about where he’s got to now. All hewanted to do was get to that top level.”
    AfterHibernian came a move to Bury in League One and 22 appearances under KevinBlackwell, another important influence due to his demanding but complementaryapproach.
    McCarthyadds of the young Doherty: “He was just a kid. He was probably overweight. Heneeded to play football. We were in the Premier League at the time — hewasn’t a Premier League footballer then, but he’d got really good potential.
    “Thebest thing for him — not the club, of course — was they got relegated (in successiveseasons) to League One. He may not have played regularly had they still been inthe Championship. He came in and played almost every game. He was part of thepromotion team and then was promoted again a few years later.
    “Wesigned him and helped him. We recognised he’d got something but he’s drivenhimself on.”
    Afterthat Bury loan, Doherty returned to a club floundering near the bottom of theChampionship and was thrown into the heat of a relegation battle by DeanSaunders, who played him 13 times at the end of Wolves’ disastrous 2012-13 campaign.
    AsMcCarthy suggests, Wolves being in League One was no bad thing for Doherty’sfirst-team prospects.
    Formerteam-mate Carl Ikeme agrees: “Kenny Jackett freshened up the team and went withyoung players,” he tells The Athletic.
    “Theway we played — free-flowing, attacking, attractive football and takinggames to teams — suited Doc. That season in League One gave him time tomature instead of being in and out the team.”
    ALeague One title-winning season later, Doherty was firmly established inWolves’ first-team group and came to the fore in 2015-16 when a switch toleft-back yielded the best form of his career to date, with the Irishmanmarauding inside on his right foot and becoming a key route to goal forJackett’s side.
    Ikemeadds: “He was absolutely brilliant that season, both at defending and goingforward. He was dangerous from the left flank; the little feints he did. Ithink he took a few people by surprise. That made Kenny keep him there. He wasthat good they didn’t feel the need to buy a left-back and he ends up beingplayer of the season.
    “He’salways quietly gone about his business as a player and was someone who I alwaysfelt had that potential to kick on. But it was always, for me, down to him asto whether he would. It happens for people as different stages of their career.The penny kind of dropped for him. He changed his diet, got really fit andfulfilled that potential.
    “Hewas always technically good. If he made some changes to his life — diet,fitness etc — it would happen for him.
    Doherty’sperformances and consistency levels had both improved but it was under Nuno,appointed in June 2017, when he made the necessary alterations to his healthand fitness regime that would transform him into one of the most energeticwing-backs in the English game.
    Outwent microwave meals, fizzy drinks and sweets. In, inspired by his captain andfriend Danny Batth, came a pescatarian diet and an increased focus on healthand fitness that saw him lose more than half a stone. He’s also become a fatherto two young girls, Nya and Sia, with partner Nikkea.
    Theimprovements to his nutrition, coupled with his natural attacking adventure andenhancements to the defensive side of his game, made him an integral part notjust of Nuno’s Championship winning team in 2018 but also the top-seven PremierLeague sides of 2019 and 2020.
    “Wecan all praise the club and Nuno, rightly so, but ultimately, Doc’s made thesacrifices to kick on to the next level,” Ikeme says. “He should be applaudedfor that.
    “Hisfootball intelligence has improved — he knows when and where to make therun — and his assists; he’s become very calm in the final third and canpick the right pass out. His distribution and crossing has improved, as has hiswhole attacking game.
    “Heused to look tired or heavy in the legs in the last 10 or 15 minutes of gamesbut he doesn’t anymore. His energy is incredible.”
    It’sa great success story — 10 years, 300 appearances, progressing anddeveloping at the same pace as the club, from League One to the top end of thePremier League, while players such as Helder Costa, Ivan Cavaleiro and BarryDouglas have been dispensed with along the way — but Doherty isn’t one toshout about his achievements. Fame doesn’t suit him.
    Whenhe returns to his home town of Swords, just north of Dublin, he shies away fromthe adulation he could receive as the Premier League footballer coming home.
    “Hehas three great friends on the estate; Neil, Ben and Adam, and they’re thefirst port of call — sometimes before he visits us,” his father Tom adds.
    “Hedoesn’t really go down to the village. He said to me once, ‘Dad, people willslap me on my back and shake my hand… I don’t even know them. I don’t wantthat’.
    “Perhapsthe way he is can come across as arrogant sometimes but it’s the completeopposite. He just doesn’t think he’s that important. He’s very grounded. He’shad some achievements but he doesn’t ‘do’ fame like most people.”
    Dohertyis different in a lot of ways, not least his sense of humour.

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    “I’d describe him as eccentric,” Ikeme adds. “He’s very particular about certain, weird things… I always remember him asking the kit man what kit we’d be wearing for the next week or two in advance. I mean, who even thinks about that? He’s very particular in weird ways; a very dry sense of humour. He’s involved in the banter, but in his own way.
    “He cares as well. Absolutely. If something needs saying in the changing room, he’ll say it. Everyone’s different. He doesn’t crave the limelight and he’s not a player who shows excess emotions. But you can see, when he celebrates goals or a result, the passion he’s got in him.
    “The way he is in the final third is his character — calm and relaxed, not carried away. He might not show it towards the fans sometimes but to say he cares less simply is not true. He cares immensely. About his game and about the club.”
    For all his progress, his performances, his goals, his assists, his medals, his plaudits, Doherty is, incredibly, still in single figures when it comes to international caps.
    Captain Seamus Coleman playing in the same position as him doesn’t help, neither does Martin O’Neill and/or Roy Keane taking a dislike because Doherty has been known to wear gloves during matches. The mind boggles.
    Six years after leaving Wolves, McCarthy had the opportunity to manage Doherty again when he took the Ireland job in 2018.
    “He was a far better physical specimen than he was when we signed him,” McCarthy says. “He’d grown up. He was 27, 28… a man. He’d had so many hundred games playing for Wolves and now, at the top level, he’d become a top pro. He’s a gentle lad — laid back but not with his football. He wants to play.
    “He’s done wonders, he really has. He’s a revelation, he’s been fabulous. And he’s a lovely, lovely guy.
    “I had a real issue… I’ve got Seamus Coleman and Matt Doherty in the same position. I’m spoilt rotten. But in a 4-4-2, Seamus is the captain and he plays 4-4-2. Doherty plays a wing-back role. We tried playing them together in my first game (Doherty as a right winger) but it didn’t work too well.
    “It was great working with him again and a pleasure to see how he’d developed.
    “He can control it, he’s tactically aware and Wolves have made a great position for him in there at wing-back. He can defend that far post really well and also gets in at the far post in the opposition box and can score a goal. He’s become a very good all-round footballer and Nuno’s wing-back system really suits him.”
    There may be plenty of highlights still to come with Ireland but they have been numerous in the past few years with Wolves, not least in front of goal.
    A long-range thunderbolt against Fulham in 2016, a free kick at Stoke City as Wolves caused an FA Cup upset a year later, two goals against Reading as Nuno’s team edged towards the Championship title, winners against Crystal Palace and Newcastle United in the Premier League, a goal in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and even a strike against his beloved Arsenal (who are, along with golf, Tiger Woods and cricket, his main passion away from Wolves). He’s also scored in the Europa League and for Ireland.
    Topping the list for his father (and probably for most Wolves fans) has to be the late winner against Manchester City as Wolves came from 2-0 down to win a thriller at Molineux late last year. The goal, displaying all the calmness and composure that Ikeme speaks of, plus a trademark barging run in from the right flank and a deft one-two combination with one of Wolves’ forwards (in this case Raul Jimenez), was textbook Doherty.
    Not that Tom, ever the analytical dad, was overly impressed with his son’s overall performance in the game: “That goal is probably my favourite but he had a fairly average game that day.”
    Tom, who travels over to England three or four times a year to watch his son play, adds: “He’s always been a far better player than people recognise — and still is.
    “He’s only second to Trent Alexander-Arnold in terms of goals and assists and nobody really talks about it. I’m not complaining but it’s always been the way in his career.”
    Not that Tom doesn’t look for improvements in his son’s game.
    “Only recently I said to him, ‘When you’re passing the ball… eye on the target, eye on the ball, follow through’.
    “That’s something we used to say when he was growing up; almost a mantra. We used to do this little drill on the street — we’d stand a few yards away from each other. My legs would be apart and he’s got to get the ball between the target for a goal. ‘Eye on the target, eye on the ball, follow through’. That was the mantra.
    “I noticed recently he wasn’t passing the ball that well. I said to him, ‘Take someone out with you and do 50, 60 passes’.
    “I’m not a coach or anything but little things like that help. We’d talk a lot about passing and about his first touch because at the top level, you only get one.”
    In Wolves’ most recent game, against Chelsea on the final day of the Premier League season, Doherty made his 300th appearance for the club. By the end of this month, he could be a Europa League winner. At age 28, there’s plenty still to come.
    “For the first time ever, I got quite emotional; it was because of his 300th appearance,” Tom says. “I thought to myself, ‘Wow. Well done, Matt’. That would be the first time being emotional. I was speaking to my friend Tony. Privately, you’re emotional of course.
    “Every time the team sheet goes up on the telly…I know he’s playing but I still have to look. Isn’t that mad? Sometimes I think I’m not going to look but I always do to see his name.”
    That transfer 10 years ago this month has to be categorised as one of the bargains of the century. Bohemians might be waiting for their 10 per cent sell-on for a good while yet.
    McCarthy gets the final word: “It’s been a good £75,000, let me tell you.
    “He’s made himself into a top Premier League footballer. I take my hat off to him.”

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  18. #212
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    As a fan, as a coach, and more importantly as a c***, sorry, as a Dad, that interview is super.

    also, we've had a pair of f***wits managing us for a couple of years now. Hopefully things change. Thanks Ole.
    That's what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingdom View Post
    As a fan, as a coach, and more importantly as a c***, sorry, as a Dad, that interview is super.

    also, we've had a pair of f***wits managing us for a couple of years now. Hopefully things change. Thanks Ole.
    Did those two clowns even Play Matt Doherty when Coleman was out injured with the broken leg ? ? ?

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    His last year was a disaster, but mon is still the 2nd most successful manager in Irish history. On this point I totally agree christe is an awful player and Matt is an excellent player. That was a terrible decision

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    Great interview, the father seems well grounded too, so makes sense that Matt is that way inclined.
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    His father definitely has been a massive influence on him. A lot of what is in this piece tallies well with an interview Matt himself did with Off the Ball recently. Matt spoke in a lot of detail about the influence of his father and how his father really believed he would make it as a pro. There was a cool little story whereby his dad told him after a match against St. Kevin's that those Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick lads were going to make it but that Matt was going to as well. It is amazing to think that his father was so bull-headed in this that he was willing to restrict Matt's future prospects to one of two things: a) making it as a professional football or b) working with him in the carpet cleaning business. That is not a slight on the latter but it is a far cry from the former. I don't think it is wreckless either- I know it has worked out but I'm sure the carpet cleaning business would have been a success.

    The story about Stephen Hunt giving him money also adds up. Both Hunt and Doherty were interviewed over lockdown and spoke about how much time they spent together. Their main activities were runs and rounds of golf. I know Hunt is an agent and I'm not sure if he represents Matt but it is apparent that they have maintained that relationship.

    The comments within the article regarding his confidence and his attitude also are reflected in the interview with him. He's confident. But he's confident in a very sincere manner and he can sound almost objective when speaking about himself, his ability and his performances. He speaks very much in fact and much less in emotion. Excuse my broad and sweeping attempt to diagnose that but I often find Dutch people refreshingly blunt and direct. Doherty's mother is Dutch so that may have rubbed off on him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olé Olé View Post
    His father definitely has been a massive influence on him. A lot of what is in this piece tallies well with an interview Matt himself did with Off the Ball recently. Matt spoke in a lot of detail about the influence of his father and how his father really believed he would make it as a pro. There was a cool little story whereby his dad told him after a match against St. Kevin's that those Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick lads were going to make it but that Matt was going to as well. It is amazing to think that his father was so bull-headed in this that he was willing to restrict Matt's future prospects to one of two things: a) making it as a professional football or b) working with him in the carpet cleaning business. That is not a slight on the latter but it is a far cry from the former. I don't think it is wreckless either- I know it has worked out but I'm sure the carpet cleaning business would have been a success.

    The story about Stephen Hunt giving him money also adds up. Both Hunt and Doherty were interviewed over lockdown and spoke about how much time they spent together. Their main activities were runs and rounds of golf. I know Hunt is an agent and I'm not sure if he represents Matt but it is apparent that they have maintained that relationship.

    The comments within the article regarding his confidence and his attitude also are reflected in the interview with him. He's confident. But he's confident in a very sincere manner and he can sound almost objective when speaking about himself, his ability and his performances. He speaks very much in fact and much less in emotion. Excuse my broad and sweeping attempt to diagnose that but I often find Dutch people refreshingly blunt and direct. Doherty's mother is Dutch so that may have rubbed off on him.
    I didnt know his mum was Dutch I was just talking to a client who was telling me her assigned PM for a project was Dutch "so.. you know.. shes direct.."

    Doherty strikes me as a future manager. I wonder though is he the type to build strong relationships with other players generally..

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    There was a rumour before he made his debut that might declare for the Netherlands, not sure how close that actually came to happening.

    it's briefly mentioned in this article from December 2017 - https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/w...ntry-s7tj0hmz7 - but he seems to dismiss it, and made his debut three months later against Turkey
    “I am ready and good to go, but it may never happen,” says Doherty, who has been named in a couple of Ireland squads, but doesn’t appear to have enjoyed the experience. Born in Swords, Co Dublin, to a Sligoman and Dutch- Indonesian mother, he is amused at the idea of playing for Holland when it is put to him.
    “Who is the manager there? I might have to message him or something. Seriously, if I can’t get in the Irish team I ain’t getting in the Dutch team, am I?”
    Last edited by tetsujin1979; 06/08/2020 at 12:08 PM.
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