When football players leave Ireland behind in the hopes of carving out a future in the professional game, they often end up plying their trade in the UK -competing for a chance in the Premier League, the Scottish Premiership, or the numerous leagues below them.
For decades, this has been the most attractive and obvious career path for Irish players. But what of those players who ventured further afield in search of glory, adventure, or simply their next touch of the ball?
Since the dawn of the men’s professional game well over a century ago, and up to the more recent expansion of women’s football, Irish players – and coaches too – have made their mark on clubs and nations around the world. For the first time, Emerald Exiles brings together the stories of these pioneering players, who pursue football wherever they can, venturing beyond tradition and navigating the personal and professional highs and lows that journey brings with it.
Charting the careers of players and managers such as Liam Brady, Robbie Keane, Anne O’Brien, Stephanie Roche, Frank Stapleton and a host of others – and featuring exclusive first-hand interviews with numerous players, Emerald Exiles is a unique analysis of Ireland’s mark on world football and the individual stories behind it.