Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Republic player switches to Northern Ireland as Portugal game looms

Published 05/10/2012

Hull City's Alex Bruce has opted to make the switch to represent Northern Ireland
Hull City's Alex Bruce has opted to make the switch to represent Northern Ireland

Hull's Alex Bruce has been called up by Northern Ireland for the first time after switching his allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.

Manager Michael O'Neill has included the defender in the squad for the World Cup qualifier against Portugal.

Another Hull defender Joe Dudgeon is also handed a first call-up with David Healy returning to the squad but goalkeeper Lee Camp is not included.

Defender Bruce played at under-21 level for the Republic and was also capped in two senior friendlies but, with the chance of further caps dwindling he began the process of switching orthern Ireland under former boss Nigel Worthington.

Bruce was born in England but qualified for both the Republic and Northern Ireland via grandparents.

He was wanted by Northern Ireland at U-21 level but opted to play for the Republic.

He joins Hibernian's James McPake in the Portugal squad. The Scotland-born defender was persuaded by O'Neill to commit to Northern Ireland earlier this year and made his only appearance in the 6-0 friendly defeat to Holland. Both players will provide cover for the suspended Gareth McAuley.

There is no place in the squad for Lee Camp, the Nottingham Forest goalkeeper who left the squad for personal reasons after being dropped in favour of Roy Carroll for the first qualifier against Russia. Alan Mannus, of St Johnstone, and Michael McGovern of Falkirk will provide competition for the number one shirt but Camp's future is now in some doubt.

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph