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February 22, 2009

Posted on 02/22/2009

A Scotsman abroad

Overmach Parma fly-half Barry Irving, Scottish by birth, has some reservations about the plans to potentially include Italian sides in the Celtic League, in The Scotsman.

"Mallett's comments (or should I call them excuses) have led to a knee-jerk reaction to propose the inclusion of two Italian teams in the Celtic League next season. Who, where and how are all unanswerable questions at this point in time, but support for the proposal has not been well received by the clubs in Italy. With over 220 eligible players for Italy playing every weekend, the question of quantity has never been an issue. The theory is that two Italian sides playing in the Celtic league will raise the quality needed for players to develop into international players.

"What many officials who live the dolce vita have failed to notice is that a large proportion of Mallett's squad earn their living in other leagues around Europe. Other issues are the legalities of player contracts and whether the Celtic League will accept existing teams or would prefer new franchises. Rumours of merging teams in northern Italy, ignoring years of rivalry and in some cases mild hatred, have caused many to splutter into their espressos!

"As for me, I am happy to be playing at a club that wants me and am enjoying the lifestyle. Having spent four years at Glasgow in horizontal sleet, I certainly don't miss the training or playing but the city will always be close to my heart and its vibrancy and local humour is hard to find anywhere else in the world.

"It is impossible to predict the future, but I hope mine will include an occupation in sports journalism some day. Until that time I will continue to give 100% to my club and continue to support Scotland through thick and thin. Forza Scozia!"

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