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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 April, 2004, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
No U-turn for McGeady
Celtic forward Aiden McGeady
Aiden McGeady has been tipped as a star of the future
Scotland assistant boss Tommy Burns has admitted defeat in trying to persuade Celtic youngster Aiden McGeady not to play for the Republic of Ireland.

The 18-year-old, who marked his Celtic debut on Sunday with a goal against Hearts, was spoken to by Berti Vogts.

Burns said: "But even the Scotland manager taking time to talk to him didn't make a difference.

"His father wants him to play for Scotland, but he is a strong-willed young man. There is nothing we can do."

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher was persuaded to stick with Scotland rather than Ireland and there were hopes that McGeady would follow suit, despite qualifying for the Republic through his grandparents.

But even Burns' inside-knowledge as Celtic youth development boss could not change the mind of Glasgow-born McGeady, who was the talk of Sunday's live BBC broadcast with a Ronaldinho-style flick against Hearts.

"He has always had it in his mind to play for the Republic," said Burns, who persuaded Vogts to speak to the forward when he was just 16.

"I got Berti to talk to him and his father to try to get him. But, even at that age, he wanted to play for the Republic."

McGeady has already played for Ireland's Under-21s, but new eligibility rules would allow him to switch allegiance until he is capped at full international level.






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