Date:Saturday October 7 2006
Crewe midfielder Michael O'Connor is set to switch his allegiance to the Republic of Ireland. O'Connor was born and raised in Belfast, and has represented Northern Ireland throughout the youth system, but significantly, despite being selected, has never featured for the U21 side. There are numerous precedents in cases such as this, with a host of complex rules for switching nationalities.
Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez has been in touch with the club regarding coming over to watch O'Connor, but Dario has signalled O'Connor's unwillingness to play for them at the moment. O'Connor has become increasingly unhappy at playing for the Northern Ireland youth sides, so a switch to the Republic seems likely.
The Republic of Ireland are one of a large number of scouts present at today's game.
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