John Egan: "I'm a proud Irishman - I know it's a friendly, but no one can ever take that away from me"

Wed, Sep 11 2019

Sheffield United's John Egan Credit: Al Robinson (ETPhotos)

Colman Stanley reports from the Aviva Stadium

Stand-in Republic of Ireland captain revealed his gleaming pride after leading his country out for the first time during Tuesday’s friendly international against Bulgaria.  

Egan’s responses to journalists after the game last night were a strong indicator as to why he was awarded the captaincy for the match.

His responses were measured and mature, those of a man who your teammates could trust and follow.

“Proudest moment of my life”, was the centre half’s take on how the night went for himself.

“I’m a proud Irishman. I know it’s a friendly, but no one can ever take that away from me.”

Egan was largely at fault for Bulgaria’s only goal, giving away a penalty after being turned.

However, he took this blight on his performance in his stride, not letting it be any sort of burden on the highs which the game brought.

“It comes with the territory. You can’t get too down about these things. These things happen.

“I think as a group we collected ourselves up from that. We got going, and got the three goals, and got the win.”

When asked about his battle with Richard Keogh and Shane Duffy for a place in the starting XI against Georgia, he was humble in his reply.

“They haven’t conceded many goals. I just have to keep my head down and keep playing well at Sheffield United.

“If I’m given a chance like tonight, I’ll try and play well and stake my claim.”

Before the final whistle, Egan nearly grabbed a goal when he got on the end of another sumptuous Jack Byrne corner.

His header went over the bar, and he missed out on what would truly have been absolute redemption for his penalty error.