How about this for a start? After a poor performance from the senior team last night, attentions turned to Stephen Kenny’s first game in charge of the Ireland u21 side today. With the former Dundalk manager set to replace Mick McCarthy after the Euro 2020 campaign, there will be a lot of interest in the U21s’ exploits in the coming months.
Those who tuned in to their clash against Luxembourg could only come away impressed with what they saw. While the opposition was not the strongest, Ireland put in a fantastic display.
There was plenty of the quick, attacking football that we have become accustomed to seeing under Stephen Kenny, with some strong performances from the likes of Connor Ronan and Adam Idah.
Ireland took the lead just after the half hour mark. A teasing near post corner delivery from Neil Farrugia was met by the had of Adam Idah, with the Norwich City striker directing a powerful header into the roof of the net.
Idah is a very bright prospect, displaying prolific goal scoring form in the youth ranks at Norwich. Having only turned 18-years old in February, he is not too far away from a first team breakthrough at Carrow Road.
They doubled their lead a few minutes later. Wolves’ Connor Ronan popped up with a driving run from midfield, before playing in Farrugia with a perfectly weighted ball in behind. The UCD man showed great composure to dink the ball over the on-rushing Luxembourg goalkeeper.
Captain Jayson Molumby came agonisingly close to extending the lead on 59 minutes, but his long range effort after a mistake from the goalkeeper rattled the crossbar.
Ireland would extend their lead 10 minutes later, with Adam Idah grabbing his second of the game. It Ronan once again who ensured the quick transition fro the middle third, with the Irish number nine taking one touch before dispatching beyond the ‘keeper.
Having had so little time with the squad, this was a very encouraging outing from Stephen Kenny’s troops. They played some fantastic attacking football, and in truth could have had a few more goals to their name by the end of this one.
There will be stiffer tests on the horizon, with games against Italy and Sweden yet to come. For now, they can enjoy this fantastic performance. Judging by this game, the future of the Irish team is in safe hands.