Chiedozie Ogbene concern lingers as Stephen Kenny hails fitness benefits of Ireland’s Bristol training camp
Chiedozie Ogbene remains a doubt for Ireland’s Euro 2024 qualifier in Greece after not being able to participate in this week’s training camp in Bristol.
Ogbene is struggling with a hamstring problem but while he did meet up with the squad, the Rotherham player was doing rehabilitation and gym work for the four-day gathering.
In an interview with the FAI, Kenny said that the wellbeing of Ogbene and Alan Browne are ‘dilemmas’ for Ireland with the June 16 date in Athens in mind. Browne is recovering from a medial ligament injury.
Ireland will prepare for Athens with a nine day training camp in Turkey which will include a behind closed doors friendly match against opposition which has yet to be confirmed. It would appear that Ogbene’s participation is in the balance.
Tom Cannon missed out on the chance to impress Kenny after coming down with a bout of tonsillitis. The Under-21 international had impressed on loan at Preston from Everton after a January switch.
There was also a first call for ex-Sligo Rovers keeper Ed McGinty – who is now with Oxford – after Bohemians netminder James Talbot was unable to take up his spot.
Peterborough’s Jack Taylor was also added to the group after his side were dramatically knocked out of the League One playoff picture. John Egan missed out for family reasons.
Kenny will confirm his final squad this week but didn’t give much away in a brief in-house interview where he spoke in general terms about the impact of new faces such as Sean McLaughlin (Hull), Danny McNamara (Millwall) and Neil Farrugia (Shamrock Rovers).
He declared himself satisfied with the overall exercise which took place at the training base of Bristol City.
“It’s been an important week because we can set individual programmes and they can do whatever runs that we set them and can monitor with the technology but nothing beats playing football and setting the drills and the players can really benefit from that,” said Kenny, who is very conscious of the six week break between the end of the Championship season and the Greek encounter.
“We need to make sure that we’re absolutely 100 percent. Going to Turkey will help us by training in similar conditions
“The Championship is the only league that finishes six weeks before the international window in June.
"The Greek players will all be playing right up until (the qualifier). Because the majority of our players are in the Championship it is a challenge we have to take on. So these four days were important.”