ETB graduate Enda Stevens ready to take international bow
The Sheffield United defender could make his debut for the Republic of Ireland on Friday night against Turkey in Antalya.
For the Dubliner, his journey to international football began on the FAI's ETB course in Cabra in 2008. He could become the latest in a long line of ETB graduates including the likes of Kevin Long and Daryl Horgan to make the jump into senior international football.
National ETB Project Leader Harry McCue worked with Stevens in Cabra, and he is delighted to see the 27-year-old join up with Martin O'Neill's side.
"It's been a few years since Enda was in Cabra, but it's a great endorsement for the courses. Matt Doherty was also a former student here. Hopefully we will be both make their debuts on Friday.
"Enda progressed into the SSE Airtricity League, and then onto England before breaking into the international squad. All of us here in Cabra ETB want to congratulate him".
With the likes of Stevens, Horgan and Long all beginning their careers in the SSE Airtiricity League, McCue feels many players could be tempted by the lure of the ETB courses, before a potential move to England.
"The recognition of players in the international squad is brilliant to the courses around the country. Having those players as role models is excellent."
The Cabra course, gave Stevens the opportunity to move to UCD, before further spells and St. Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers.
"All the managers come and see the League of Ireland games. I'd be in regular contact with most managers in the League. It's a brilliant gateway for players."
McCue will be one of the more interested spectators tomorrow night, as he hopes Stevens and Doherty take their international bows.