| 9.9°C Dublin

Caoimhín Kelleher insists full Ireland debut would be ‘a special and proud moment’

Close

Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is pictured during an Ireland press conference at the FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is pictured during an Ireland press conference at the FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher is pictured during an Ireland press conference at the FAI Headquarters in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher says he's ready to deliver on the big stage for the national team and bridge a 13-year gap between Anfield and the Republic of Ireland side.

And the Cork native has also parked any thoughts of possible Premier League action next weekend, should international duty with Brazil force Alisson to miss out, as he's focused on the clash with Qatar.

"At the minute it’s just the game against Qatar is the main focus. If I do play at the weekend, it would be good to get a game in before that as well. But the main focus is Qatar tomorrow," he said.

Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has confirmed that Cork native Kelleher will start in Tuesday's friendly at home to Qatar as Gavin Bazunu is rested. That would make Kelleher, who made his senior international debut as a sub in the summer, the first Liverpool man to start for Ireland since Robbie Keane in 2008.

"I think hopefully I’ll get the opportunity tomorrow, it would be nice to get a first start for Ireland," he said before today's training session at FAI HQ in Dublin.

“I’ve a good few family coming up to watch the game. In front of the home fans to make my first start would be a special and proud moment for me. I’ll just try and play my own game, play my own game and if that helps the team, great."

He knows that Bazunu has the No. 1 shirt at the moment, a benefit of first team football on loam but Kelleher is ready to compete.

“Of course it’s going to be difficult. I think the first team, it’s always going to be difficult. Three good goalkeepers, myself, Mark and Gavin all competing for one spot is healthy competition. We all get on with each other. It’s only healthy for us and good for us. I like it, I like competition, it makes you better.

"I obviously back myself to do well whenever I play but I don’t think of what ifs or if I was fit or whatever, it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t spend time thinking about that. If I get capped, I know what I’m capable of."

Kelleher says the mood in Kenny's camp is upbeat after Saturday's win away to Azerbaijan. "It's very high spirits at the minute, with the first win everyone is in good spirit and looking forward to the game tomorrow," he said.

The Halfway Line Newsletter

Get the lowdown on the Irish football scene with our soccer correspondent Daniel McDonnell and expert team of writers with our free weekly newsletter.

This field is required


Most Watched





Privacy