Interview with Irish Soccer Star Keith Fahey



Ireland's 3-0 victory against Wales Tuesday night will have given manager Giovanni Trapattoni a few new faces to consider for future qualifiers. Youngsters Ciaran Clark and Seamus Coleman shone on their international debuts.


Coleman and Clark may be drawing most of the media's attention but it was a player who had been in and out of the starting that caused Eamonn Dunphy to declare that he "is a top class player that is a fact."


Keith Fahey may have been a late addition to the squad, due to a Sunday game with club Birmingham City, but still managed to score a magnificent freekick after coming off the bench against the Welsh.


It was Fahey's second goal in 8 International caps. Keith joins the Sports Central blog today to share a few of his thoughts on his career so far:

Sports Central-Keith, 2010 was a big year for you for many reasons. One of which is that you signed a new contract with Birmingham until 2013, how proud do you feel at earning that from Alex McLeish and how is life treating you as a Birmingham City player?

Keith Fahey-Yes 2010 was massive for me with making my debut for Ireland and signing my new deal for Birmingham city, I am very grateful for the chance the manager has given me to further my career with the club and to carry on improving my game, I am well settled in Birmingham which was something i struggled with when i was younger so that's the most important thing for me.


SC-Many people will remember watching you play for St. Pat's in the Irish league, how much do you take from your time there?

Fahey-I take great memories and experiences from the league back home, it helped me mature as a player and also as a person, I was given great responsibility at St. Pats and was looked after very well by all the staff there, Johnny McDonnell was a great manager for me personally.

I know how bad things can be and that makes me appreciate things I have a lot more now, the likes of not having water for a shower after a game up in Finn Harps springs to mind!

SC-Alex McLeish said that you had proven that you were a premiership footballer when you signed your new deal, What has been the biggest difference playing in the premiership opposed to the championship or even the Irish league?

Fahey-I would say the biggest difference is that nearly every player in the premier league is technically strong where as in the championship some players might rely on their physical side of the game, there is also a big difference in fitness levels.

SC-Alex McLeish said that you had proven that you were a premiership footballer when you signed your new deal, What has been the biggest difference playing in the premiership opposed to the championship or even the Irish league?

Fahey-I would say the biggest difference is that nearly every player in the premier league is technically strong where as in the championship some players might rely on their physical side of the game, there is also a big difference in fitness levels.

SC-While playing in the Championship you kept your place in the team fending off competition from Hammeur Bouazza and Scott Sinclair, the signings at the club this season have raised the bar again with Craig Gardner and Aleksander Hleb arriving, how do you deal with the increased competition?

Fahey-I think the addition of new players of a better standard is a good thing for the squad it means every one must up their game to stay involved, it has definitely made me a better player yes.

SC-Playing in the Irish league you predominately played in the middle but at Birmingham you have played more often than not on the wing. Where do you feel is your best position?


Fahey-At the moment I would say Im more comfortable on the wing because i havn't had a run of games in the middle, I do feel Im a lot more affective in the middle though, so to answer that question i think my best position is in a central role if i could get a decent run of games there.

SC-I mentioned that it has been a big year for you and a huge part of that has been your time with the Irish team. How did it feel to earn your first cap?

Fahey-My first irish cap was a great honour for me and everyone that has supported me through the years, it has been a long road to get there, but the most important thing is that i stay involved with the irish squad and further my career!

SC-Your first cap for Ireland was obviously huge, but your premiership debut came in Old Trafford. Which was the bigger game for you personally?

Fahey-Ehmm i would say looking at the bigger picture i think the premiership debut was bigger, on a personal note that game means so so much to me nobody will ever believe, as my dad passed away just over a week later it is such a relief he got to see me play in the big league god rest him.

SC-Maybe even bigger than both was the fact that you scored your first goal for Ireland this year also. How did that feel?

Fahey-Scoring for your country is something every footballer dreams about, it was a great moment for me and it was a little message to send out to a lot of people who have doubted me in the past, another reminder was my goal tuesday night!


SC-The goal resulted in a vast amount of praise from the media and notably from Eamonn Dunphy on the RTE panel covering the game. As a player do you listen to the media and take on board what they say about you?

Fahey-I do take on board what the media say BUT i don't let bad press bother me, when I play bad Im the first to admit it, praise is always good but again i know when i do well so i don't need to read about that either.

SC-By my count you have taken 3 freekicks for Ireland. One of which was an assist, the other was a dangerous ball whipped in the box and the most recent was your goal against Wales. Have you been at the managers(Trappatoni and McLeish) about getting more opportunities? I'm sure all League of Ireland fans remember your impressive efforts for Pats, the most memorable being the extra time strike against Bohemians.

Fahey-I dont because we have quality free kick takers at the club, at international level I think i have more of a chance of taking set pieces if i get myself into the team on a permanent basis.

SC-Which freekick felt better? The Wales or Bohemians one?

Fahey-I would say the wales free kick was a better feeling because it was for my country and it was a nice reminder what i am capable of.


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