McDermott reveals Irish dream
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Ambitious: Reading manager Brian McDermott.
ROYALS boss Brian McDermott has spoken of his dream of one day becoming Republic of Ireland manager.
The 51-year-old enhanced his growing reputation by leading Reading to the Championship title just 12 months after losing a play-off final at Wembley.
He also turned down a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers in January after Mick McCarthy was sacked to sign a new deal at Madejski Stadium until summer 2015.
McDermott, who cut his teeth at non-league Slough Town, has now established himself among the best up-and-coming bosses in the business and was crowned Championship Manager of the Year by the League Manager's Association last week.
And the former Arsenal and Cardiff City player says that leading Ireland would be a dream come true.
McDermott told an Irish radio station: "My mum is from County Clare and my dad is from Sligo. Growing up in England I supported Sligo Rovers.
"It was Don Howe that suggested I play for the English youths. Don was a big influence at Arsenal at the time and I was a 17-year-old lacking in confidence, so I just went along with what he said. I suppose I was pressurised into doing it.
"Kenny Sansom, who was a senior player with Arsenal at the time, said that I would go on to play Under 21s and then become a full England international. Of course, things are different today, as players can switch allegiance.
"A couple of years later I realised it was a big mistake."
McDermott's parents moved to Slough in the 1950s seeking employment and settled down in the town's large Irish community.
He grew up in the neighbourhood, became a ball-boy at Slough Town then signed for Arsenal as a teenager.
However, he admitted: "I live in England, and I'm not ashamed of that, but being Irish is in my blood.
"Ever since then it has been a goal of mine to manage Ireland. It was an error on my part to line-out for England, and I have told my friends that.
"You have career paths in life - and I'm determined to realise my long-held ambition."
Meanwhile, Royals completed their first summer signing last week with the capture of Nottingham Forest winger Garath McCleary on a free transfer.
The 25-year-old - another former Slough Town player - signed a three year contract after rejecting a move to Premier League rivals West Bromwich Albion.
He scored nine goals in 42 games for the Rebels between 2005/07 before moving to Bromley and then Nottingham Forest in 2008. He developed quickly at City Ground and was superb throughout last season scoring nine times, including a four-timer in their 7-3 victory at Leeds United.
Forest wanted to keep him but the lure of playing in the Premier League and the wages that accompany it was too strong for McCleary to resist.
"It's amazing to be at a club like Reading," he said. "Being a local boy as well, it's the stuff that dreams are made of. I can't wait to pull the Reading shirt on and prove what I can do.
"After helping Forest stay up last season, it's a fantastic achievement for me to now come to a Premier League side, a club with such fantastic support. It's great to be here."
McCleary won't be the last summer signing either as Royals look to strengthen for another crack at the top flight following relegation four years ago.
As the Chronicle revealed in January, McDermott also wants to sign Huddersfield Town hotshot Jordan Rhodes.
Brighton & Hove Albion striker Craig Mackail-Smith, Chelsea left-back Ryan Bertrand, who spent a season at the Mad Stad on loan in 2009/10, Blackburn Rovers starlet Junior Hoilett and Liverpool's Joe Cole are other possible targets.
More fanciful rumours also suggest Royals are looking at Tottenham Hostpur and England striker Jermain Defoe and Newcastle United's out-of-contract Danny Guthrie.
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May 23, 02:48
dont get carried son you still have it to do being boss of prem players with their big ego aint easy look at mac Carthy strong man but when manager of ireland he got confronted by roy keane with his big ego so learn the trade with the big ego,s then see how you perform so far you done well keep it up
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