Monday 5 December 2016

Rooney desperate for debut after injury nightmare

Published 04/10/2016 | 02:30

Rooney: Hoping for a chance. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
Rooney: Hoping for a chance. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

While he may have been one of most prolific Irish strikers over the last couple of seasons, Adam Rooney is still waiting to prove himself on the international stage.

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The 28-year-old scored 28 goals for Aberdeen two years ago and followed that up with another 20 last season, but a thigh injury suffered in training last February again halted any would-be progress with Ireland.

Rooney has featured in Martin O'Neill's squad in the past but he was cut from the extended panel for the Gibraltar and Georgia games last year.

This time around as Georgia come to Dublin on Thursday, he is hoping to have impressed the Ireland manager enough to win his first cap.

Rooney was on the scoresheet twice for Aberdeen on Saturday in a 4-0 win that moved his side back into second place of the Scottish Premiership.

With Daryl Murphy and Kevin Doyle both missing the double header with Georgia and Moldova, Rooney is eager to make his debut.

Looking back on the injury he suffered prior to the friendlies against Switzerland and Slovakia, Rooney knew that was the chance he had been waiting for.

"I was going well at the time, I'd scored in something like eight games in a row and was in peak form," the Dublin native recalled.

"It was the first muscle injury I'd ever had so it was terrible timing; they were the games Jonny (Hayes) got in and did well and got a couple of caps. It was disappointing but you just have to get on with it and sit tight.

"I didn't think I was close enough before but getting the call last season gave me that boost and I was in good form. I was hoping to maybe push and give him something to think about.

"The injury came at the worst possible time and again this season I've started the season well and wanted to impress."

Those frustrating days are behind him now, and Rooney is hoping that his patience will pay off.

"It's good for the confidence that you are there and thereabouts because everyone wants to play for their country," he said.

"It would be great if it would happen at some stage."

Irish Independent

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