Irish football has not been in the best place recently.
From an endless string of controversies to a record winless run for the men’s senior team, the heights of Italia ’90 are a distant memory for football fans across the country.
Speaking to KCLR’s Saturday Scoreline, Mikey Drennan, who has been capped for every underage international side, shed some light on the issues that have led to the demise of the most played sport in the country.
He said: “We are 20 or 30 years behind every other country. The senior team is just not good enough.
“Our players are playing in the Championship and the lower parts of the Premier League, so we don’t have the players anymore.”
The former Aston Villa player was critical of the coaching set-up across the country and compared it to the high standards that are set in Europe and beyond.
“The majority of countries these days have proper coaches for players from seven onwards. When I was playing, you would train with your club and just turn up for the international games.
“That level of coaching isn’t good enough and that is why we are where we are with the senior team at the moment.”
The plight of Irish football
Drennan lamented the plight of Irish football and expressed his disappointment that it has fallen so far from its glory days. However, he hopes that change will come with better coaching structures put in place.
“It’s a pity that it took it to get this bad to see some sort of change but at least there are changes being made now around coaching and I think we will see the benefit of that in 10 years or so,” said Drennan.
The former Sligo Rovers, Shamrock Rovers, and St. Patrick’s Athletic player also highlighted two ways in which Irish football may improve in the not-too-distant future.
“We need to see more money being pumped into underage football and Brexit may also be beneficial because you might see players stay here and mature or go to different leagues in Europe like Jack Byrne going to Cyprus.”
Listen back to the full interview on Scoreline Extra: