Hull City Go to the World Cup

Brian RhodesSenior Analyst INovember 15, 2009

LONDON - MAY 24:  Captain Ian Ashbee of Hull City (2R) lifts the trophy following the Coca Cola Championship Playoff Final match between Hull City and Bristol City at Wembley Stadium on May 24, 2008 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

When I was a kid watching the Tigers, there was not much to cheer for in the way of Hull City players in the World Cup finals. The Tigers' teams were usually made up of low-level British players with no chance of anyone playing for Scotland or Eire, let alone England.

The Tigers have had some England and Scottish internationals, but usually after they have finished their international careers—most notably Hull City legend Raich Carter, who played for England in the post-war years. However, when he was leading the Tigers as our player-manager, his international career was a thing of the past.

Our most high profile internationals of recent history are Theodore Whitmore and Ian Goodison, who sprung to fame after representing Jamaica's "Reggae Boyz" at France 1998, a year before joining Hull City. Unfortunately they weren't Tigers at the time of the Reggae Boyz' finest hour.

However, we would on occasion have current Welsh internationals or Northern Ireland internationals, but nobody that actually played during a World Cup finals. The only player that springs to mind as a Hull City player to actually be a currently serving player during a World Cup is Manuel Rui Marques .

Rui Marques was on loan with the Tigers from Leeds United when he represented Angola in the 2006 World Cup Finals in Germany. With the South Africa 2010 World Cup Finals, the Tigers actually have currently serving players that will be ever present in their national teams.

From the current squad, the Tigers have Jozy Altidore representing the United States of America, Richard Garcia of Australia and Seyi Olofinjana from Nigeria, but there is still the possibility that Algeria's Kamel Ghilas could make the World Cup finals if they can beat Egypt in a playoff game.

The club's Republic of Ireland trifecta of Kevin Kilbane, Stephen Hunt and Paul McShane will have to overcome the loss to international giant France when they play them in Paris to qualify for South Africa.

Hull City's current squad of players is a far cry from the championship playoff winning squad of two years ago that had only two known British players in Jay Jay Okocha and Richard Garcia. Currently the club has players from 16 different nations and from every continent.

How things change in football. It is a testament to the international nature of the English Premiership that clubs need to scour the globe for players to stay in the World's favourite league.

So too for the Tigers, who will have a few representatives in the World's favourite football competition—the World Cup—for the first time in the club's history.