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Miller welcomes the Irish influence
Darlington skipper Ian Miller has hailed the positive influence made by the club's crop of Irish players. Steve Staunton took the number of his fellow countrymen in the Quakers squad to five when he agreed a onemonth loan deal with Nottingham Forest for Republic of Ireland Under-21 international goalkeeper Shane Redmond in January. Dusty's Diary Staunton is considering the option of extending Redmond's stay at The Northern Echo Arena when the Dubliner's loan deal expires at end of this month. Miller believes that the arrivals from Ireland, including leading scorer Tadgh Purcell and midfielder Gary Dempsey, have helped bring a positive mentality to the dressing room and livened things up both on and off the pitch. There are some real characters among the lads that the gaffer has brought over, confirmed Miller. What you see on the pitch with Tadgh for example is pretty much what you get on the training pitch too. He's full of commitment and doesn't hold back one bit. But we welcome that. I may be the captain but it makes my job a lot easier if people are prepared to gee one another up on the pitch. I suppose like a lot of people I didn't know too much about the Irish boys before they arrived but I have been very impressed by their attitude.'' Staunton's quest to inject some spirit into his flagging troops took him to the League of Ireland. Financial problems there have proven to be a boon for managers seeking value for money. Ireland's premier division season kicks-off in just over a fortnight but with leading clubs like Cork City threatened with winding up orders there is a real concern for the league's future. But Staunton, who already knew the likes of Redmond from his spell as Ireland's national manager, has drawn on his extensive contacts in his homeland to cash in on the growing exodus of players quitting Ireland for the relative stability of the English Football League. The only person at Darlington to experience a problem with the growing Irish influence is Staunton's number two Kevin Richardson who quipped: I am just glad that the gaffer is from Ireland. When these new boys start chatting amongst themselves I struggle to understand a word they say!
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