King delighted with senior call-up for Robbie Brady
REPUBLIC of Ireland under-21 team manager Noel King has paid tribute to Robbie Brady after Giovanni Trapattoni drafted the Manchester United winger into the senior international squad for Tuesday‚Äôs Friendly encounter with Oman.
Trapattoni rang King after the Ireland-Kazakhstan game on Friday evening and requested that the 20-year-old Dubliner be excused Monday‚Äôs UEFA U21 Championship game in order to link-up with the Irish squad ahead of their friendly at Craven Cottage.
‚ÄúThe manager did not just call me last night. Weeks ago he put me on alert that it was a possibility and he continues to do so, which is very good,‚ÄĚ explained King.
‚ÄúHe rang me again and said he intended to bring Robbie in. He‚Äôs obviously conscious of the fact that we can‚Äôt qualify for the play-offs now so we‚Äôre delighted for Robbie and he goes with the congratulations of the squad.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs nice as he follows James McCarthy in from this group. That‚Äôs part of this job ‚Äď bringing players through. It‚Äôs a vehicle for bringing players forward. Everybody in our dressing room ‚Äď players and staff - is delighted for Robbie and James before him.
‚ÄúWe hope that we continue to send players up to the senior squad.‚ÄĚ
Brady became Ireland‚Äôs record under-21 goal-scorer on Thursday with his penalty in the 2-1 loss to Hungary. It was his seventh goal at this level and King has the height of praise for the young Dubliner.
‚ÄúRobbie has deserved his call-up. He‚Äôs been sensational for us ‚Äď as the people of Sligo will testify after his previous performances in the campaign. He sets the place alive and some of his play has been outrageous,‚ÄĚ said King.
‚ÄúHe still has lots to learn ‚Äď he‚Äôs not the full article and he‚Äôd tell you that himself. The players love playing with him. He‚Äôs a great personality. He has a good demeanour and a good manner and he‚Äôs a credit to his family. I‚Äôve nothing but good to say about him and I hope he fulfils his potential. It‚Äôs a lot coming at a young age for him but he has big shoulders and I think he‚Äôs going to be one of our most exciting players.
‚ÄúRobbie has the chance to go on and play for Ireland for many years and I hope he does.‚ÄĚ
Brady sat with the Ireland under-21 side watching an internet link to the Ireland-Kazakhstan game in the team hotel in Kecskemet last night and King can see how passionate the young Red Devils is about playing for his country.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs great that his reaction to the call-up was full of such boyish enthusiasm. We‚Äôre all delighted for him. It‚Äôs great to see that reaction. He‚Äôs always wanted to play for his country ‚Äď that‚Äôs a passion for his and he‚Äôs always put his limbs on the line for us,‚ÄĚ said King.
‚ÄúHe was in the front row watching the senior game. He has a keen interest and watched every kick. You could sense he was thinking ‚Äėsome day I‚Äôll be there‚Äô and three hours later the phone rang and he was.‚ÄĚ
Watford striker Connor Smith has been drafted into the Irish under-21 squad ahead of Monday‚Äôs final UEFA Championships qualifying game against Italy at the Giuseppe Capozza Stadium in Casarano (5.30pm Irish).
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