When Colin Healy made his debut against Russia in February, 2002, he was immediately tipped to lead Ireland for many years to come. Born in Cork, Healy was first spotted by Celtic and joined them as a teenager when he found an admirer in Martin O'Neill, but with the experienced pair of Paul Lambert and Neil Lennon ahead of him in the pecking order, Healy was always on the fringes of the team. After making only a handful of appearances during the 2001/02 season, Healy jumped at the chance to join Coventry City on loan and while there Mick McCarthy spotted him and immediately called him into the squad for his debut against Russia. He was named man of the match and impressed again in his next two appearances against Denmark and Russia. However, McCarthy remained faithful to the squad that qualified for the World Cup meaning Healy was left at home, though as the Roy Keane affair came to a head, there was a request to call up the midfielder. He was back in the squad at the start of the Euro 2004 qualifiers but a broken leg and further complications as neared a come-back complicated his progress after he had joined Sunderland in 2003.