Have the IFA starting poaching players?

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Updated: November 10, 2011

The “eligibility” row between the IFA and the FAI has stolen the headlines in the past, with the IFA being the most vocal opponents to players switching from their association to the FAI. However, after the embarrassment of the Court of Arbitration case, it appears that the IFA is willing to practice that which they previously opposed.

The son of former Finn Harps and Linfield midfielder Tony Gorman played for the Northern Ireland U16 team in their recent Sky Sports Victory Shield victory over Scotland.

Dale Gorman, who currently plays midfield for Donegal’s Ulster Senior League side Letterkenny Rovers, has previously featured for the Northern Ireland under 16 team, but has never played for the Republic of Ireland.

Under 16 teams are traditionally “schoolboy” teams and are often drawn from schools within the jurisdiction of the association, but Gorman attends St. Eunan’s College of Letterkenny.

Having vehemently complained about players from Northern Ireland playing for the FAI, it is interesting that the IFA are now willing to extend their playing pool to players who happen to come from outside their jurisdiction.

Despite this however, players opting for the IFA rather than the FAI is not wholly unusual. Johnny Gorman, Ryan Brobbel and Alex Bruce, for example, are players who opted to play for the IFA after representing the FAI.

Nevertheless, since the failed Court of Arbitration case against Daniel Kearns, the “eligibility row” has long been settled.

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