Derry youngster explains why he has switched international allegiance 4 years ago

Derry youngster explains why he has switched international allegiance

Joshua Daniels has switched international teams.

The Derry City winger has accepted a call-up for the Republic of Ireland U21 side, two years after he was involved with a Northern Ireland underage team.

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Daniels, who tragically lost five members of his family in the Buncrana tragedy last year, will join up with Noel King's side for a game against an Ireland amateur side in Dublin next week.

While some players might have said it was always their dream to play for the Republic, Daniels has been very honest about his decision.

The 20-year-old said that he made the switch simply because he wanted to play international football, which is fair enough. He's a footballer and all ambitious players want to compete on the international stage.

Daniels said that the switch came about because the Northern Irish football association had overlooked him since playing for their U19 side two years ago.

"It’s a weird one because I was in the U19s when I was 18 and 19 for the North, but I just haven't been called up in two years," Daniels told The Derry Journal.

"I was seeing other boys who were getting called into squads and that was fair enough, but I was thinking I'm playing in the League of Ireland, we're playing down South and most of the people who are going to be watching our games are going to be from Republic of Ireland or FAI.

"Then I got a phone call one day, saying that they thought I was doing well and they wanted me in their squad, so it took a while to get there but it's finally through and I just can't wait to play.

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"I just want to play international football. I told Northern Ireland that if it had have been the other way about I would have done the exact same thing. I want to play football whether it’s with the U21's with the Republic or U21's for Northern Ireland it didn't matter, whoever was first to come and that's what I made clear.

"I'm not switching because it's the Republic of Ireland, I'm switching because I haven't been called up (for Northern Ireland) in two years and I want to play international football."

Daniels has played for Derry since 2013, and has had trials with clubs such as Manchester United, Everton and Nottingham Forest.

Republic of Ireland fans will be hoping Northern Ireland's loss will be the south's gain and the player continues to develop.