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Dublin: 0°C Friday 16 April 2021
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'He's caught me with an elbow a minute or two in, so it was a good welcome to international football!'

John Egan says he did “okay” on his Ireland debut but accepts that there is plenty of room for improvement.

Iceland striker Kjartan Henry Finnbogason catches Egan with his arm.
Iceland striker Kjartan Henry Finnbogason catches Egan with his arm.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

HAVING DONNED THE Ireland shirt in a senior international match for the first time, John Egan was eager to make a good impression tonight.

The Brentford defender lined out alongside Alex Pearce of Derby County in a makeshift defence as Iceland paid a visit to the Aviva Stadium.

With the game barely a minute old, however, Egan went to contest a header with opposing striker Kjartan Henry Finnbogason and took an elbow above the eye for his troubles.

The Cork native wore a large bandage around his head for the remainder and needed stitches afterwards.

“He’s caught me with an elbow a minute or two into the game, so it was a good welcome to international football!” said Egan. “These things happen, you get knocks in games and you have to get on with it.”

Lasting 64 minutes before being substituted for fellow debutant Andy Boyle, Egan did reasonably well on his first appearance but he will be disappointed with giving away the free-kick which resulted in the winning goal.

“It’s a massive honour for me and my family to make my debut,” the 24-year-old said.

It’s something I’ve always dreamed about, it’s just a pity we didn’t get the win. It’s obviously disappointing to lose the game.

“I think I did alright, I could’ve done a bit better but it was my first game. I have to keep the head down now and try to get into future squads.”

Andy Boyle replaces John Egan Egan was replaced by Andy Boyle of Preston North End. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Former Sunderland youth Egan will now be aiming to push for a spot in the squad for Ireland’s trip to the US to face Mexico in June before the friendly against Uruguay followed by a vital World Cup qualifier with Austria.

Son of the late Kerry GAA legend of the same name, it’s an occasion John junior wishes he could have shared with his dad.

“He would have been proud, tonight’s a night you’d miss him a bit more because you would have loved to see him here,” he added. “The rest of my family were here and I think they enjoyed it.”

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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