James McClean to play for Republic

Updated: August 8, 2011

Derry City winger James McClean has confirmed he plans switch allegiance from the North to the Republic of Ireland once he has completed his transfer to Premier League club Sunderland.

McClean has pulled out of the Northern Ireland squad for Wednesday’s night’s Euro 2012 qualifier against the Faroes Islands and speculation had been mounting that he may make the cross border move.

The 22-year-old has now confirmed that he wants to line out for the Republic despite playing at youth level for Northern Ireland.

“It was a blow seeing Irish League players being called up before me to the Northern Ireland squad, but having got the call I was relieved,” McClean said in the Belfast Telegraph.

“However, it’s always been my dream to play for the Republic and hopefully that will become a reality now that I’m going to be a Sunderland player.”

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