Doncaster Rovers boss backs Manchester United loanee Ethan Galbraith for 'great career' following latest Northern Ireland call

Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens has backed Ethan Galbraith to have a long international career with Northern Ireland after receiving his latest call-up to the senior squad.

By Liam Hoden
Thursday, 4th November 2021, 3:12 pm
Ethan Galbraith
Ethan Galbraith

Manchester United loanee Galbraith has already won two senior caps for Northern Ireland having been selected for duty on three occasions in the last 14 months.

Recently, he was called up for the U21 side, whom he captained in the last four European Championship qualifiers.

But his impressive performances during his loan at Rovers have seen him reinstated to Ian Barraclough’s senior squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Lithuania and Italy.

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“I think he deserves it,” Wellens said. “I think he’s been excellent.

“I’m sure he will go on to have a really good international career for the next ten to 15 years and also a great club career as well.

“His two performances against Cheltenham and Cambridge were really good and everything that he’s good at.

“It was different to what he is used to at Charlton but we asked him to react to that against Crewe, win second balls, get into good defensive positions and make smart decisions to hook things on when he needed to and I thought he did that well.

“We have no doubt that he’s going to be a really good player. He deserves this and we’re really happy for him.

“It’s good that he keeps developing.”

Wellens revealed talk in scouting circles was that Galbraith may have struggled physically on his move to senior football.

But Wellens says he could not pass up the opportunity to sign the midfielder on loan this summer and feels any element of gamble about the move has paid off.

“I’ve watched him for a long time, probably three or four years, and no one has taken the gamble to take him for his first loan,” he said.

“People think ‘we’ll wait and see how he does on his first loan.’

“But if you’re in our position you can’t wait for that. His next loan move will be probably Championship level so you’d miss the boat.

“He always had the label that he’d struggle physically.

“But he’s got a tenacious side to him and as he gets stronger and gets games in his legs, it goes such a long way to the development of a player.

“You can be as big and powerful as you want but there’s no substitute for having league games in your legs.”

Galbraith’s call-up, along with those for Pontus Dahlberg and Tiago Cukur, has ensured Rovers’ scheduled League One clash with Fleetwood Town on November 13 has been postponed.

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.