Sheffield United defender not surprised by Idah’s progression

PUBLISHED: 14:00 07 September 2020

Adam Idah made his second appearance for the Republic of Ireland against Finland on Sunday. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Images

Adam Idah made his second appearance for the Republic of Ireland against Finland on Sunday. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

Adam Idah’s senior Republic of Ireland debut last week may have come as a surprise to many - but Sheffield United defender John Egan knew the striker would become a top Irish prospect.

Idah was handed his international debut in Stephen Kenny’s first game in charge against Bulgaria last week at the age of 19, much to the surprise of football fans in his home country.

Those in Norfolk are well aware of the striker’s talents; they can reference his impressive hat-trick in the FA Cup against Preston North End in January as an example of his ability.

Egan played alongside Idah against Bulgaria last week and isn’t surprised by the City striker’s progression, recalling an encounter he had with the youngster when he was 14.

“I’ve known Adam a few years now, he’s from Cork and back in the day, he was scoring a lot of goals with Corinthians,” explained Egan in the pre-match press conference prior to Ireland’s defeat to Finland on Sunday.

“I think I presented him with an award when he was about 13 and he was the same size as me, he’s a big unit!

“I was delighted for him, delighted that he got his first Irish start and hopefully it’s the first of many. Hopefully, the young lads can keep improving and it only bodes well for the future of Irish football.”

Idah has had a breakthrough year of development with the Canaries - with the striker featuring regularly off the bench when football returned following its suspension owed to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Irish FA social media account subsequently posted a picture of the pair when Egan handed Idah with his award five years ago when the striker was named as Cork Schoolboys Player of the Year in 2015.

John Egan had an encounter with City striker Adam Idah when he was 14. Picture: Lorraine O'Sullivan/PA ImagesJohn Egan had an encounter with City striker Adam Idah when he was 14. Picture: Lorraine O'Sullivan/PA Images

“It was either for his age group Player of the Year or Overall Player of the Year. We played against each other in the Premier League this year and he put up a picture of me presenting him the award and then me marking him in the Premier League so it was quite funny.

“He’s a really good prospect and hopefully he can keep the head down now and see where it takes him.”

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