Belfast Telegraph

Carroll wants Northern Ireland call from O’Neill

By Stuart McKinley

Roy Carroll last night sent out a ‘don’t forget about me’ message to new Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.

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O’Neill will be officially unveiled as the successor to Nigel Worthington at a press conference in Belfast today and although his employment with the Irish FA doesn’t kick in properly until the beginning of next month he will already be considering his squad for the first game of his reign at home to Norway on Wednesday February 29.

Now playing his football for OFI Crete in Greece, Carroll is hoping that O’Neill — who is a former Wigan Athletic team-mate — will do something that Worthington didn’t and hand him his 20th international cap.

“I have never said that I had retired from international football,” said Carroll (pictured), whose last appearance for Northern Ireland against Spain in September 2006 was cut short by injury.

“At the time that I dropped out of the squad I’d moved to Rangers and I wasn’t playing first-team football and I thought it would be better for Northern Ireland if I focused on trying to get into the first-team at Ibrox.

“I’m disappointed that I haven’t been involved since.

“I spoke to Nigel Worthington a couple of years ago while I was in Denmark when he was talking about a new contract and he said when things were sorted he would give me a call, but the call never came.

“I’m still hoping I’ll get another chance to play for Northern Ireland, I feel that I have something to offer.”

With Maik Taylor unlikely to play for Northern Ireland again Carroll would provide experienced cover for current number one Lee Camp.

O’Neill is expected to confirm his backroom team at today’s press conference. As revealed in yesterday’s Belfast Telegraph former Northern Ireland goalkeeper Tommy Wright is likely to be his number two.

And the IFA have given the new boss carte blanche to assemble his own structure at underage level, like they did with Worthington.

Under-21 and under-19 coach Steve Beaglehole and Paul Kee, the under-17 coach, were, like Worthington, under contract until the end of 2011, but were informed last month that theirs would be allowed to expire.

There is, however, the possibility of Kee being re-employed, as the under-17 and under-19 posts are expected to be filled by current IFA staff members as has been the case before.

Belfast Telegraph


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