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McNamara targets Ireland debut after making Championship breakthrough

Stephen Kenny gave the Millwall man his U21 bow in 2019.

Danny McNamara committed his future to Millwall by recently signing a new contract.
Danny McNamara committed his future to Millwall by recently signing a new contract.
Image: PA

DANNY MCNAMARA HOPES he can grab the attention of Republic of Ireland senior manager Stephen Kenny by continuing to perform for Millwall in the Championship.

On Monday, Millwall announced that the 22-year-old had been rewarded with a new long-term contract.

McNamara has made seven appearances for the club since being handed a long-awaited first-team debut in last month’s FA Cup over Boreham Wood. That was followed by a first Championship outing in a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth.

He joined St Johnstone on loan last July and showed up well while playing 22 times for the Scottish Premiership outfit, prompting Millwall to exercise a January recall option on a deal that was due to last until the end of the season. 

Although normally recognised as a right-back, McNamara has been operating on the right side of midfield in a 3-4-3 system for Millwall, who are 14th in the Championship ahead of tomorrow’s game at Reading. 

“I’ve loved the run of games I’ve had at Millwall,” the London-born player, whose paternal grandparents hail from Longford, told the South London Press.

“To get my chance so early after coming back and playing at Bournemouth has felt quite surreal. It’s been a massive boost for my confidence and it shows that the gaffer [Gary Rowett] feels he can trust me.”

esp-luxembourg-ireland-under21-championship-qualifying-round McNamara on the attack for the Ireland U21s against Luxembourg back in November. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

As he continues to settle into life in the Championship, McNamara – who had a loan spell in League Two with Newport County last season – is keen to work his way towards international recognition at senior level.

He has been capped twice at U21 level by Ireland, with Stephen Kenny giving him his debut in a European Championship qualifier against Armenia in 2019.

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“I got called up to the U21s when I was on loan at Newport,” said McNamara. “It had been in the pipeline for a while before that. I made my debut against Armenia and then played my second game against Luxembourg.

“I’m too old to play U21s any more for them, so the next step is senior football for Ireland. By playing some Championship games, hopefully I’ll get noticed by Stephen Kenny.”

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Paul Dollery

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