Jeff Hendrick pipped his old pal Robbie Brady to the Young International of the Year award on Sunday night but he came back down to earth yesterday as he travelled to Derby for treatment on the injury that has ruled him out of the Poland game.
By contrast, Brady has defied sceptical medical bulletins from Hull to report for duty. He made his comeback as a late sub against Chelsea on Sunday and was again utilised at left back - he scored twice from that berth for Ireland against USA in November.
Hendrick came up through the ranks with Brady at St Kevin's Boys and knows him better than any other member of the squad. He's not surprised that the ex-Manchester United youth is challenging in a new role.
"It doesn't surprise me," says Hendrick. "The year Hull got promoted from the Championship, he played left wing-back and I put him in the PFA team of the year as a left-back. He wasn't too happy! I thought he was the best left-back that year, sort of a wing-back getting forward.
"Growing up, he was always going by players so to see him stop people go by him was good to see. It didn't surprise me that he did well against the USA."
Celtic cult hero Artur Boruc has been tipped to get the nod between the sticks for the Poles in Dublin and Shay Given, an avid Hoops fan, respects his ability.
Boruc is now immersed in Bournemouth's promotion battle alongside Irish newcomer Harry Arter.
"The holy goalie!" enthused Given, referencing the popular nickname for Boruc in Parkhead circles. "He's a fantastic 'keeper, even at Southampton he was probably a bit unlucky when Fraser (Forster) came in and took his position. He won't be fazed by the atmosphere."
"When I tell people I've injured my hip, they're going to wonder what sit-ups was I doing" - Jeff Hendrick is bitterly disappointed to be missing out this week but he can see the funny side in the fact that he was struck down by a hip problem that he aggravated doing a straightforward sit-up. The dressing room will be unsympathetic.
23 International goals scored by Polish star Robert Lewandowski, a tally he has accrued from 66 appearances. The Bayern Munich star is trailing behind Ireland's top scorer Robbie Keane on the goal-to-game ratio. Tallaght's finest has notched 65 goals in 138 outings for his country.