HE’S been given a warm welcome in the League of Ireland after getting the cold shoulder in England.
And U21 cap Mikey Drennan says he’s determined to use his time back in Ireland with Shamrock Rovers, following last month’s move from Aston Villa, to prove a point to those in England who doubted him.
Kilkenny lad Drennan was under contract with Villa until next summer but he was so fed up with the lack of opportunities that he finished up early and signed for the Hoops.
And Rovers fans can catch a glimpse of Drennan in tomorrow’s friendly against LA Galaxy where Drennan will come up against his one-time team-mate at Villa, Robbie Keane.
But the 21-year-old is keen to make a statement while at Rovers. “I want to score as many goals as I can over here with Rovers and Villa might see what they missed out on,” Drennan told The Herald. “I never got a chance from Paul Lambert at Villa, he never really gave younger players a chance. I just want to get playing, get scoring goals and show people what I can do.
“Lambert brought in some players from the lower leagues, the players we had in our reserves were better, but we never stood a chance.
“That’s been borne out by what happened as most of the players who Lambert brought in aren’t there any more, of the 15-20 players he brought in, only four are left. It wasn’t a good time to be a young player there, but my ambition would still be to get back to England.
“I could have stayed on at Villa but I just wanted to play football again and not in the U21s over there. There were a few offers from Ireland and clubs in England expressed an interest too, but once Pat Fenlon got on the phone to me I knew it was the right move and the right time to come home.
“Things just weren’t going well for me over there, and my head wasn’t right. I just want to have a good year or two here in Ireland and try to get back to England again.”
There’s a touch of glamour attached to tomorrow’s friendly against Galaxy as Ireland captain Keane plays on home soil. “Even though it’s only a friendly against LA Galaxy, it’s still a big game for us, a chance to play against the best team in America, and a chance to play against Robbie,” Drennan says. “Robbie was on loan to Villa for a while when I was there and it was good to be at the same club as him, Robbie is one of the best players I’ve ever seen in training.”