Coleman living boyhood dream after Ireland call-up

ireland
(Photo: Clare Courier)

ireland

Everton defender Seamus Coleman admits playing alongside Ireland legends such as Robbie Keane and Damien Duff would be a dream come true.

Stephen Kelly and Darren O’Dea withdrew from the national side’s preliminary squad to provide Coleman with the chance to replicate some promising displays for Everton on the international scene.

The former Sligo Rovers starlet recalls watching his idols at the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. Two of the key players in that campaign, Keane and Duff, remain part of current Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni’s set-up.

“I remember watching the Irish team in the World Cup when Robbie Keane and Damien Duff were setting the World Cup alight in 2002, and to be eating dinner with them, it is a bit surreal,” said Coleman, 21.

The 21-year-old right-back has made eight appearances for his country’s U-21 side and won the FAI’s Under-21 Player of the Year award for last season.

And Coleman admits making the step up to the senior side marks the fulfilment of a boyhood dream.

“When I was growing up, I always wanted to play at the highest level,” said Coleman, who played a crucial role in Blackpool’s promotion last season.

“You always aim for it, but you don’t know what is going to happen. It was something to aim for and thank God that I have actually got into the squad.”

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