Mooney relishing Aussie challenge
Ireland's John Mooney discusses the One Day International against Australia with George Hook and Dave McIntyre
On The Right Hook Show on Friday George Hook and Newstalk's Sports Presenter Dave McIntyre are joined by Ireland's John Mooney to discuss the upcoming RSA Challenge One Day international versus Australia. The issue of Ireland's best being tempted away to play with England is also discussed.
George Hook: I'm going to John Mooney, he is of course a member of the Irish Cricket Team. Because the RSA Challenge One Day International between Ireland and Australia takes place in the leafy surrounds of Stormont on June 23rd. Tickets available at Ticketmaster.ie, John welcome to the programme.
John Mooney: How are ye George, how's it going?
George Hook: Well of course John you're from that hotbed of Cricket that Jim Glennon always talks about, North County Dublin. Cricket has had an amazing sort of decade almost recently. What's it going to be like with these Australians?
John Mooney: Well it's going to be tough, they're the number one side in the world George. So we're not going to fear them, as no Irish team fears anybody, but it is going to be a tough challenge. It's going to be a great day. It's up in Belfast as well, so we're hoping that the people are going to come out in their numbers and support us. But I'm confident that we can put in a good performance, and even win.
George Hook: Now just the week that's in it, like the Soccer, if you're playing for Arsenal and Ireland are playing, then Arsenal have to release you, that isn't the case though in Cricket, so like we've got Porterfield in Warwickshire, Ed Joyce in Sussex, you know Niall O'Brien in Northamptonshire and so on and so on. The County Championship teams don't have to release the players for internationals, isn't that right?
John Mooney: Well no, depending on the fixture, if it's an Official International which this is, the counties have to, by ICC Law, release the players. And they will release the players. Now they won't be too happy about it, but they have to release them. And you know it's our full strength side that will be coming out against Australia, that's for sure, and none of our county boys will want to be playing county cricket on the 23rd of June, because they'll want to be at the RSA Challenge up in Belfast.
George Hook: Now you're at North County of course, but a lot of the lads, and Trent Johnson for instance is at YM and stuff like that, but the boys who are in England, are full time professionals as such. How does an amateur like yourself make out then?
John Mooney: Well we do our best George, but we're on a full time contract with Ireland at the minute. And in about 2009 Trent and Alex Cusack were the first people to receive contracts, and on the back of the financial support that RSA have given us over the last two years, we've now got, I think it's twenty three contracted players, between Ireland and England.
George Hook: Yeah I mean I understand that part of it, but like your still next week going down to Sydney Parade to play Pembroke or you know down to Railway Union or whatever, as opposed to the other players who are playing surely at a higher level, that was really more about the professionalism I meant, rather than actually the money.
John Mooney: Oh I get you now. Well George the standard in Irish Cricket has improved. But we're not playing obviously at that high a level, as what they would be playing at in England. But we have the mentality that we're not going to fear these guys, and we go out and we play with a no fear attitude. And you know, if it doesn't come off, it doesn't come off. But we're certainly not going to fear them, and we're going to go and play to the best of our ability. And I think it doesn't make a difference what level that you play at, if you go out with the right mentality, you can take on anybody.
Dave McIntyre: John I know that you guys will be confident, given some of the wins you've had at Twenty Twenty and One Day International Cricket over the last few years of beating pretty much anyone that comes to town. But isn't it a case that as long as say 50% of our best guys, like Kevin O'Brien, he's just signed with Somerset, are playing their Cricket over in England, and succeeding over there, as until we are a ratified Test Nation, there's always the risk that we're going to lose our best guys?
John Mooney:There's always that risk. But if you talk to a youngster called Paul Stirling, he is adamant that Ireland is the team for him, and hopefully all the youngsters who are coming up, will have the same attitude as Paul, and will want to play for Ireland and no other country. And as long as we're playing against the top sides, whether it's Test Cricket of ODI Cricket, if the players are looked after through Cricket Ireland, I think they'll be loyal and will play for Cricket Ireland, that's my opinion on it.
George Hook: Yeah because Dave the point is, I mean Ed Joyce has come back, but of course Morgan . . .
Dave McIntyre: Well Ed Joyce has only come back, you could argue that the only reason Ed came back is because he wasn't getting his place in the England Team.
George Hook: Correct, absolutely and Morgan remained because he was.
Dave McIntyre: Yes, and now Eoin has lost his place in the England Test Team as well. And I wonder will we get to the stage maybe where Eoin is looking to play for Ireland again, which would be great, because he's such a talent. But I don't, it's inaccurate to paint a picture from Ed Joyce's point of view, that he came back to Ireland because he decided he no longer wanted to play with England.
John Mooney: Well I think if I could cut across you guys, I think Ed was the first person, and he was in no situation other than to play for England, and Eoin was the next person after Ed. But we've got a lot of youngsters now, with George Dockrell and Paul Stirling who are under these guys, who have reached their status because of playing with Ireland, that I think they might be loyal to Ireland, and might stick with Ireland as well, do you know, and hopefully that is the case. Because Ed had no other choice, Eoin possibly had another choice, but definitely the guys coming behind them, they do have the choice to make, and hopefully they'll make the right one, which in my opinion is to continue and play for Ireland.
George Hook: Because this, I don't know how much of a kid he is now, but George Dockrell is an extraordinary talent is he not?
John Mooney: George is fantastic, and he's, you know he's an extremely talented bowler, and his batting is coming on all the time. And George is only nineteen and he is going to be going away to play in the Under 19 World Cup now in the next couple of weeks. So he's got the world at his feet really, and English people and the commentators on Sky Sports are talking about George with regards to England. But I'd hope that, you know, through investment in Cricket in Ireland and the sponsorship that we have at the minute, and all these kind of things, with the big games like Australia and stuff like that, that George and Paul Stirling will make the decision to stay with Ireland, and continue playing in big high profile games like the RSA Challenge next week.
George Hook: All right, there you are, the RSA Challenge, Ireland v Australia. Just a hundred miles up the road at Stormont. Long range weather forecast is good.