Duffy glad to be back involved
His last experience being around the Republic of Ireland senior squad holds horrific memories, so Everton defender Shane Duffy is glad to have gotten his comeback sorted without a hitch.
Almost two years ago, the Derryman suffered a life-threatening injury in a training game which required emergency surgery at the Mater hospital.
Thanks to swift medical attention, Duffy was released from hospital a couple of days later, going on to recover brilliantly and clock up a few first-team appearances for the Toffees.
His call-up this time, in place of the injured Richard Dunne, meant it was back to the scene in Malahide where the incident occurred.
A couple of training sessions at the Gannon Park venue under he belt now since Sunday and he's moved on to the next challenge which is to earn his senior debut against the Czech Republic on Wednesday.
"I'm trying to put all that behind me now," he says regarding the near-fatal incident.
"There's been so many ups and downs but I try not to look back. I am learning every day, though. It is hard at Premier League level, the standard is very high, you have players in front of you and all you want to do is play.
"I am still young and I am learning every day off great coaches and players, and getting a call-up like this is only a bonus."
He added: "I'm feeling fit and confident and I'm ready for the few days of training and the game. I'm delighted that it's worked out okay for me and that I'm able to be here.
"The ankle injury happened at a bad time as I was in the team and doing well but I am young and I recover quickly. Injuries always happen in football.
"I got my chance in the Everton side due to injuries to other players so it's one of those things. I can't ask for a better manager than David Moyes, he just gives me so much confidence.
"He was a centre-half as well so he knows where I am coming from, if he thinks I am getting too ahead of myself, he'll take me down.
"I'd happily stay at Everton for the rest of my career. They've have looked after me since I was 16, looking after me when I was injured, sending me out on loan. Without Everton I'd be nowhere.
"When you see people like Wayne Rooney and Jack Rodwell coming through the ranks, you think 'that could be me some day'.
"When you're young, you're naïve and you do think 'oh it won't happen' but as you get older and more mature it does start to happen.
"But I don't want to get too carried away with myself. I just want to keep working hard - and if it happens, it happens."