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Emotional Egan pays tribute to late GAA legend father after Ireland debut


John Egan, Ireland footballer, and John Egan, Kerry legend (inset).

John Egan, Ireland footballer, and John Egan, Kerry legend (inset).

John Egan, Ireland footballer, and John Egan, Kerry legend (inset).

An emotional John Egan paid tribute to his late father John after he made his Ireland debut last night. The Brentford defender continued what has been a fine season personally for him when he got the nod from Martin O'Neill in last night's disappointing defeat against Iceland.

Egan's father John won six All-Ireland medals, nine Munster titles as well as five All Stars in a stellar inter-county career as a footballer with Kerry.

He passed away in 2012 but his son John has maintained the strong family sporting tradition (his mother Mary also has a League of Ireland medal) as he made the step up to the international stage.

"He would have been proud," Egan admitted.

"Tonight's the night when you kinda miss him a bit more because you'd have loved to have seen him here.

"But the rest of my family were here and I think they enjoyed it."

Egan gave away the free kick that led to the only goal of the game but he largely impressed on a promising debut.

After two minutes of the game, he caught an elbow into the head from an Icelandic player and had to be patched up before be carried on.

"I think he caught me with an elbow a minute or two into the game, so it was a bit of a 'Welcome to international football'," the 24-year old said.

"But you get knocks in games and you have to get on with it. I think I did alright, I could have done better.

"For my first game, I probably should have maybe done a bit better but I need to keep the head down now, keep working at club level and try to get into future squads.

"You're going to play with new players quite regularly, I've played with a lot of centre-halves in my time so personally it was good, it was great to come in and play with them for the first time.

"We were just disappointed not to win. It's a lot more technical, international football, it's a bit different.

"I just found out I was playing when we got to the stadium and the boss named the team.

"He just said go out and play your own game but I knew that anyway, it's a simple game and I tried to do my best. I've got to keep trying to impress the boss and get into future squads."

Egan was one of four debutants in the defeat along with Andy Boyle, Daryl Horgan and Conor Hourihane.

Irish Independent