Andrew Omobamidele on making his Ireland home debut: 'There were a lot of emotions, and it was a great feeling'

by Andrew Dempsey

As Ireland continue to blood new talent into their side, players like Andrew Omobamidele look as if they will continue to get their chance to impress during the Stephen Kenny era.

19-year old Omobamidele hails from Leixlip, Co. Kildare and he is already beginning to show glimpses of his undoubted potential for the Boys in Green on the senior international stage.

Tuesday night’s game against Serbia saw the teenager impress in a 1-1 draw, and he may have even won the game late on if it was not for a top-class save from the Serbian netminder.

“It’s one that I won’t forget,” he said after the game. “You can never get your first start in an Irish jersey back so before the game I knew that I wanted to perform.

“It was my first time at the Aviva starting and playing. I’ve never experienced a crowd like it in my whole career. It is probably the highlight of my career so far.

“I was taking my jersey off already after it left my boot [with the shot],” he added. “To be fair to the keeper he pulled off a great save, but I was ready to jump into the crowd [laughs].”

While he impressed after coming on against Portugal in Faro, the Norwich City defender did not feature during Saturday’s draw at home to Azerbaijan.

And he only found out on Monday evening that he was going to start at home to Serbia for his full senior international debut.

“At first you don’t really take it in. But when we left the meeting it sank in then,” he admits. “I told some of my close family members.

“It’s a big occasion with it being my first time starting and playing in the Aviva in front of the whole nation. There were a lot of emotions, and it was a great feeling.”

The former Leixlip United schoolboy is now hoping that he and his teammates can use this international window as a platform to push on as a group once more.

“I think it’s a huge lift. We didn’t win but it is a huge step. We showed that we could go toe to toe with these nations like Serbia and Portugal. It’s a huge step in the right direction.

“Hopefully I can take my momentum and performances back to Norwich. I’ll keep my head down, keep training hard and we’ll see what happens.”