Mark Kennedy on the fallout with Brian Kerr that ended his Ireland career

Former international sat down with Kevin Kilbane for an in-depth chat

Mark Kennedy, Ireland,

Mark Kennedy of the Republic of Ireland ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

During his Ireland career, Mark Kennedy won more than 30 caps.

But none came after 2002 for the former left sided player.

At the weekend, the Dubliner sat down with former Boys in Green team-mate Kevin Kilbane for Off The Ball for an in depth chat and he touched on his parting of the ways with the international setup.

"I couldn't tell you the last time I watched an Ireland game, not because I don't care about my country. I'm very, very passionate about my country. But I've no interest in the national team. None whatsoever," Kennedy said, before expanding on what happened.

"I vividly remember when - and I cannot be any more honest in this - Brian Kerr's first game in charge was against Scotland and I played for Wolves on the Saturday and I had a groin injury ironically.

"And I personally rang Brian Kerr, and said to him - a physio had spoke to him. I rang him that night on the Saturday and I'll never forget it.

"I personally said to him, 'Brian, I've got a groin injury. I'm struggling, and I promise you one thing, I'll play for Wolves next Saturday, because I'm not dying. I've got a tight, whatever it is... bit of a problem. I will play for Wolves next Saturday'. But I said, 'I'm not going to be one of these players that just says I'm injured. If you want me to play against Scotland I'll come up and I'll play, but I could do without that game'.

"And then he left a message on my phone, which was absolutely bizarre, that night, basically moaning 'I don't like hearing things third hand' and stuff like that. I was thinking, 'I've rang you, I've spoke to you, you're deluded, I've spoke to you'.

"And then the next trip, we played Georgia and Albania away. He put me on standby. I thought, 'You cheeky bastard'. He called me up, and I told him, 'I'm not going'.

"I'll never forget it: we played Gillingham at home, we won 6-0, I banged in two. Dave [Jones] took me off, and I as I walked off I said, 'I'm injured'. He went, 'What?' And I said 'I'm not going to Georgia and Albania'.

"That was the day my Ireland career [ended] and I just refused to play for them after that."

He did add that Kerr did attempt to bring him back for a "Mickey Mouse tournament in London" some time later.