A load of the Hoops: McEneff p...


A load of the Hoops: McEneff proud to join Rovers international set

Share this article

It was an unusual Monday for Aaron McEneff, who started at Shamrock Rovers training and wound up with the Republic of Ireland squad. 

The Derry-born midfielder was one of four players drafted into Stephen Kenny's ranks after further withdrawals.

James McClean and Matt Doherty both contracted COVID-19, while Adam Idah has returned to his club Norwich carrying an injury.

And with Jeff Hendrick and Jayson Molumby both suspended for Wednesday's Nations League visit of Bulgaria, Kenny needed bodies.

McEneff was joined at Ireland training by his Rovers teammate Graham Burke, Millwall's on-loan striker Troy Parrott, and Peterborough midfielder Jack Taylor.

Having represented Northern Ireland at underage level, the 25-year old had only recently been cleared to switch allegiance to the Republic.

"I got the phone call, I think, about two weeks ago and that's been a long time in the process," McEneff told FAI TV.

"I'm glad it went through two weeks ago, because I wouldn't be standing here now if it hadn't."

McEneff admits it's been a whirlwind day, going from preparing for an FAI Cup quarter-final with Finn Harps to a UEFA Nations League game at the Aviva.

"It's a very proud moment for meself, and for my family," he said.

"I found out when I went into training this morning at Shamrock Rovers and I was absolutely buzzing to be honest.

"It's great to be involved in the squad. I just finished training there, and it was great to be in here to be honest.

"People that you've grown up with and stuff texting and calling, the phone's been going mad.

"An international call-up is one of those things, if they come along they come along - you don't really think about it.

"For me today, it has come along, and I'm absolutely buzzing with it.

"It feels like hard work starting to pay off."

McEneff says he's not just in camp to make up the numbers, saying everyone is there on merit.

The former Derry City man has another session on Tuesday to impress the boss before Bulgaria come to town.

‘Stephen Kenny is the manager; he is here for the long haul’ | David Meyler

Share this article

Read more about

Aaron McEneff Bulgaria Jack Byrne Nations League Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny Uefa Nations League

You might like