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'Never would I close the door on Ireland' | Arter's possible return to the Ireland team

Conor Breslin
Conor Breslin

21:31 29 Jul 2020

Harry Arter is not ruling out a return to the Republic of Ireland setup under new international manager Stephen Kenny.

The 31-year-old has made only 15 appearances in the green shirt, briefly walking away from the squad in 2018 after an altercation with then assistant manager Roy Keane, and falling out of favour under Mick McCarthy.

Speaking on Off The Ball, the Fulham midfielder said he would not close the door on his country and has been in contact with Kenny about a possible return.

“I said it before, playing for Ireland was one of my greatest achievements as a player. It was always something I dreamed of.

“Never would I close the door on Ireland. Especially after speaking to Stephen. I think he did the rounds with the players and it was nice to be involved with that.

“It was to see where I was at, where I went wrong in the last year. He understood where I was coming from. He told the press and echoed it to me saying he’d like me to come back over.”

Arter played for Ireland in one match against Gibraltar during Mick McCarthy’s reign but felt at that point he was no longer in contention for a starting position, feeling he didn’t fit into McCarthy’s midfield setup.

“Mick was great, but I think he had his mind set on the midfield. I felt I didn’t want to just go over and make the numbers up.

“I remember I had a call with Mick. I told him I was always here if he needed me to play but if there isn’t a chance of me playing and he was just putting me in the squad not to upset me, then look at the younger players.”

Arter said his last number of games playing for Ireland were his most difficult but can only blame himself for under performing.

“The last few years playing for Ireland were difficult for me especially on the pitch. I just sensed I wasn’t Mick’s first choice. We had some really good young lads coming through. Mick could’ve easily not picked me based on form.

“I only played for Ireland 15 times over 6 years which isn’t a lot. I felt the latter part under Martin’s reign I didn’t perform, and it’s no one fault only myself. I have to take responsibility. There’s no point blaming anyone else.”

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FAI Harry Arter Irish Soccer Mick McCarthy Soccer Stephen Kenny

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