Wales: Craig Bellamy has made his peace with the Wales manager, John Toshack, over his no-show for the friendly against Montenegro.
Bellamy's club, Manchester City, admitted that they had forgotten to tell Wales that the striker was injured and would not be available for tonight's match. Toshack flew to Podgorica with his squad on Monday without any idea what was wrong with Bellamy and, crucially, not having had the opportunity to call up a replacement.
But Bellamy phoned the team hotel, clearly upset with the situation and has argued that his track record of being available for his country is beyond reproach. Bellamy is "far from impressed" that his club failed to inform the FA of Wales that he was not going to travel, and feels that he has been "hung out to dry", having suffered a reaction to his knee problem after scoring for City against Celtic on Saturday.
Australia aim to 'protect' Premier League stars
Republic of Ireland: Australia begin their preparations for the World Cup finals against the Republic at Thomond Park tonight, the first time the Limerick venue, the home of Munster Rugby, will hold an international football match. The Australia coach, Pim Verbeek, will rely on his better-known players, with Tim Cahill and Mark Schwarzer set to start, but Verbeek said he would look to "protect" them with the new Premier League season just three days away.
McGivern looks for City boost
Northern Ireland: Ryan McGivern believes he can use the international game as a launch pad for his career at Manchester City. The 19-year-old full-back wants to follow the example set by Jonny Evans, who made his debut for the province before getting a first-team game with Manchester United.
McGivern is anxious to follow suit, although he could yet be loaned out to another club to gain experience. He said: "Jonny is a perfect example of what can happen. He got plenty of games last season and that is something I will try and emulate this year. We have a bit in common as I have played more games for Northern Ireland than City while Jonny made his international debut before playing for United.
"At my age you need to be playing games. It is quite important. But if the manager [Mark Hughes] says he wants me involved in the first-team squad that's a different matter."Reuse content