Roy Carroll aims to grab NI chance against Netherlands

_60627988_carroll_bodyGoalkeeper Roy Carroll says he feels like a new boy in the Northern Ireland cap as he aims to end six years in the international wilderness.

Carroll, now with Greek champions Olympiacos, is one of three keepers in the NI squad for Saturday’s friendly with the Netherlands.

“If I play or come on it will feel like my debut again, it’s been so long,” the former Manchester United keeper said.

“I’m the oldest here but I’m still getting to know some of the lads.”

The 34-year-old goalkeeper made the last of his 19 appearances in 2006 and was overlooked by previous manager Nigel Worthington following a brief self-imposed international exile.

Worthington’s successor Michael O’Neill vowed to wipe the slate clean for all players when he took over and now Carroll is vying with regular number one Lee Camp and back-up Alan Mannus for the goalkeeping duties in the Amsterdam Arena.

Carroll has lived a somewhat nomadic existence since his spell at Old Trafford ended in 2005.

He played for West Ham, Rangers and Derby before moving further afield in 2009 when he took the chance to play in Denmark with Odense.

He later traded that for OFI Crete in the Greek Super League and impressed sufficiently to earn a move to Olympiacos.

Carroll’s first touch for the Greek champions was a penalty save after coming off the bench in a Europa League clash with Rubin Kazan and he is delighted by the opportunity he has with the club.

“It’s a big club and the training ground is fantastic. I have been at Manchester United and a team like Olympiacos is like a semi-United for Greece.

“The fans go crazy and it feels like 100,000 people out there. They are in the Champions League next season and hopefully I can fight to be number one.”

bbc.co.uk