Former Celtic star McGeady expects stick from Tartan Army

Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady admits it is inevitable he will suffer abuse from the Tartan Army when he returns to Scotland for the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
Aiden McGeady and Steven Naismith joined PFA Scotland chief Fraser Wishart to launch the Player of the Year awards
Aiden McGeady and Steven Naismith joined PFA Scotland chief Fraser Wishart to launch the Player of the Year awards

The Paisley-born Everton attacker sparked controversy as a Celtic teenager when he announced he would commit himself to Ireland rather than the land of his birth.

That decision made him a target for opposition supporters at grounds across Scotland during his six-year Parkhead spell.

Now the 27-year-old says he expects to face more flak when Martin O'Neill's side take on the Dark Blues on Friday, November 14 - a match likely to be played at his old Celtic Park stomping ground.

Speaking as he helped launch the PFA Scotland Player of the Year Awards, McGeady said: "It'll be strange playing against Scotland at Celtic Park. Although if it's at Celtic Park it might give Ireland the advantage because there will probably be a lot of fans there in the Scotland end who are actually Ireland fans.

"Do I expect to get stick? Yeah, probably, because you still get the odd bit when you're out and about but that's football for you.

"I'm old enough now to deal with it, though. When I was a little bit younger it used to get on my nerves. But people can say what they want at grounds and they're entitled to because they've paid their money.

"It's a shame but it's too far down the line to change people's opinion now. I've tried to tell people my story, how I ended up playing for Ireland, but that's it."

McGeady was prevented by Celtic from representing his school side as a youth, but the SFA would only select youngsters who played with their classmates for the nations' Schoolboy squad.

Ireland had no such rule and used the row to their advantage as they persuaded McGeady to represent their youth set-up.

The SFA did attempt to lure McGeady back once he had established himself as a Hoops regular but the 64-cap winger insists he made the right choice.

"I have no regrets because I've played a lot of games for Ireland, I've got a lot of caps and I'm still only 27," he said. "I've played at the Euros and I can say I played at a major finals.

"To be fair, the SFA did try hard to get me to change my mind but it was too far down the line.

"I'd already been playing for Ireland for three years up to the 17s and then they tried but my mind was already made up. I knew the players and the set-up but they did try so I can't really fault them for that."

McGeady is not the only Irish player with Scottish heritage. Former Hamilton midfielder James McCarthy was born and raised in Glasgow but like his new Everton team-mate, chose to represent the Republic.

"We were just talking about who would get more stick and I said him," joked McGeady. "But we'll deal with it if and when it happens. It might not be as bad as we think."

McGeady won both the Player of the Year and Young Player prizes for 2008 and believes this year's recipient of the top prize will come from his former club.

"I'd say Kris Commons is the outstanding candidate," he said. "Commons and Virgil van Dijk are probably the most consistent performers from Celtic."

McGeady was joined at the award launch by fellow Goodison forward Steven Naismith.

He agreed Commons and Van Dijk were the favourites but suggested former Rangers strike partner Kris Boyd was a decent outside bet.

"A lot of boys will look at Celtic for how well they have done in the league," he said. "You've got Commons for his goals, Van Dijk who has been cruising through games at the back and even the keeper Fraser Forster, who has had some run of shut-outs.

"But outwith Celtic, someone like Kris Boyd has impressed with the goals he has scored. He has scored 18 goals in the league, the same as Commons, but his have probably been more important for his side.

"Kilmarnock have struggled a bit this season but Boydy's game has improved and his goals have been vital."

Football

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

155513

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
A weekly round up of social highlights

A weekly round up of social highlights

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

Meet Charlie the referendum rooster who decided the result in his own unique way

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Sussed in the City

Whatever the result, the fans are Still Game

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You couldn’t make up half the stuff that happens to PA Janice Bell- some of the jams she gets herself into are worth a story or two.