‘Admin error’ costs Derry City's Nathan Gartside international chance

Derry City goalkeeper Nathan Gartside was forced to leave the Northern Ireland squad and missed out on a chance of being involved in the World Cup qualifier against Italy due to an administrative error, it’s been revealed.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 6:32 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 6:34 pm
Northern Ireland goalkeeper Nathan Gartside in action during last week's training session, at Stormont. Picture by William Cherry/Presseye

The 23-year-old net-minder, who had received a surprise call up to Ian Baraclough’s senior squad, didn’t travel to Parma for last week’s World Cup qualifying defeat and left the squad prior to Sunday’s friendly loss to USA on “medical grounds”.

The ‘Journal’ understands Gartside’s medication for a pre-existing heart condition wasn’t declared to UEFA in time and therefore his opportunity to be involved in the fixture was dashed.

While in 2016 at Watford, the keeper contracted a life-threatening heart condition (myocarditis - inflammation of the heart) but he has since made a full recovery. However, the medication he takes for the condition must be declared to UEFA as a matter of protocol each season.

Both the Irish Football Association and Derry City confirmed that an ‘admin error’ had occurred meaning Gartside was unable to play in either qualifier against Italy or this Wednesday night's game against Bulgaria or last Sunday’s friendly against USA.

A statement from the Candy Stripes described the situation as “an administrative oversight”.

“Nathan was unable to travel to Italy last week due to an administrative oversight. Derry City FC is confident that Nathan remains part of Northern Ireland’s international plans going forward,” read a club statement.

The IFA also explained Gartside’s early departure from the senior squad: “The Irish FA can confirm that Nathan Gartside had to leave the current senior men’s team international camp on medical grounds.”

It’s understood the Maydown native impressed during his few training sessions prior to the Italy game and his early exit was a disappointment for Baraclough.

The former Institute and Watford starlet has been back training with his Derry team-mates ahead of their league clash against Waterford, which takes place at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Saturday night.