After the Republic of Ireland’s unsteady Nations League Campaign, Cobh Ramblers manager Shane Keegan still believes Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland side are inspiring youngsters.
When Ireland thumped Scotland at the Aviva Stadium and earned a valiant draw against Ukraine in June, it appeared that Stephen Kenny’s side had turned a corner.
Yet this didn’t materialise as the Republic of Ireland finished their Nations League in 3rd place after a tough defeat against the Scottish and a nail-biting win over Armenia in Dublin.
Speaking on The Football Show, Cobh Ramblers manager Shane Keegan believes that this budding Irish squad are inspiring young children to take up football and join their local grassroots level football club.
“The spectacle we are seeing in Ireland games, you talk about ex-pros who are against Kenny. Surely, even they can’t argue, it is more enjoyable to watch,” said Keegan. “We all know it is. It certainly is. Whatever about the results, it is definitely more enjoyable to watch.”
“The reason that that is so important is because, my young lad, he is 7 and we went to the game on Tuesday night. Now we know, holy god, we nearly managed not to beat Armenia.
“But for him, he was there with his two mates, and they loved it! What a game! 5 goals! Ireland winning with a late goal. The likes of Obafemi, he thinks he is absolutely fantastic.”
“We were getting up this morning, and we are going to his under 8 game, and he is bouncing along, and he wants to be Obafemi.”
“Thankfully for me, he has turned the age of being able to go to games at just the right time. If he was born 5 years or 10 years earlier, and I was bringing him as a 7 year old to Ireland games under the last managers. I don’t know if he’d be dying to back in the way he is dying to go back now!”
“I don’t know if he’d be bouncing into his match on a Saturday morning. Who would the player be that he wants to be emulating? Who would be the player that would be getting him up out of his seat? Nobody!”
“To really grab the imagination of young people’s minds. Ultimately if we are not at Euros or World Cups, we are not doing enough to win that battle for young kids. If we don’t, at the end of the day, Gaelic games and Rugby win.”
Stephen Kenny will travel to Frankfurt on the 9th of October to see who the Republic of Ireland will draw in their European Championship group stage qualifiers.
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