Monday 15 October 2018

Belvedere connection delights Lenihan

Lenihan:
Lenihan: "It’s good to see some Belvo boys back in the Ireland team and it’s great for the club." Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Ireland newcomer Darragh Lenihan has just about forgiven Graham Burke for stealing his goal at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

That's because the duo go back a long way and continue to fly the flag for their old schoolboy club Belvedere. Debutant Lenihan's shot against the USA was already on its way in when Shamrock Rovers attacker Burke helped it over the line.

The link-up was a proud moment for their old club.

"I was a year younger than Graham but we'd have been in the same team the odd time when I was moved up," said Blackburn defender Lenihan, who joined his older brothers in Belvedere when he was only 10.

"It's good to see some Belvo boys back in the Ireland team and it's great for the club.

"Belvo has always had a tradition of bringing young lads through, with Wes Hoolahan and that. Hopefully there will be more after me and Graham."

Blackburn are actually one of the clubs that are keeping an eye on Burke after their return to the Championship.

Lenihan, who played a big part in that promotion drive, is once again attracting interest form Sheffield United, who had two bids for the Dunboyne-born 24-year-old rejected last season.

"The manager (Martin O'Neill) says you need to play at the highest level you can and at the moment for me that's the Championship," he said.

"I have always had aspirations to play for my country and play in the Premier League. I will keep working hard and leave no stone unturned, but I know it will take a lot to stay in the squad."

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