We can all be proud of Euro stars: Wearen
Ex-team mate of Hendrick and Brady has Bohs focus
Commitments with Bohemians meant that Eoin Wearen had to abandon plans to attend some of the games at Euro 2016 as a fan and instead focus his energy on his club.
But the 23-year-old was - if that's possible - more pleased than anyone in his company to see Ireland beat Italy on Wednesday night, a game where the match-winner was his old team-mate Robbie Brady and the stand-out player was another pal from St Kevin's Boys, Jeff Hendrick, as the trio learned about the game at the northside nursery.
"I was texting Jeff only yesterday, just to say well done and I was delighted for all the players but the two Kevin's Boys lads especially," says Wearen, due to feature for Bohs tonight at home to Galway United.
"You see what Marco Tardelli said the other day about Irish footballers, and then you watch the Irish side, especially Jeff and Robbie and how they played, you can only be proud. If Italy had done what Ireland did in Lille, everyone would be saying it was a tactical masterclass. I was just so delighted that it was Ireland - and the two lads I played with for years - who did it."
The ongoing DDSL v LOI battle is good for no one in the Irish game and Wearen is someone who knows the two camps.
Schooled by St Kevin's Boys before a spell at West Ham, he's now enjoying his career at Bohs but has been asked to go back to his alma mater to help coach their U12 side. "So much of what I know, I learned at Kevin's, even at six-seven years of age, you're told how to play the game," Wearen says.
"But there have been, and still are, good players in the league here. I think Chris Forrester is technically better than half the players in that Irish squad, it's just whether he gets the opportunity. Seven of the players on the pitch in Lille had been in the LOI, I think that says a lot."
As Sunday in Lyon awaits, Wearen's focus for today is on Galway at home, the league resuming tonight after the mid-season break. "The break probably came at the wrong time for us as we were just hitting form," he says."
"We had a couple of wins, we scored some goals, Izzy [Akinade] is scoring again. We will deal with Galway tonight and then see where we can go in our season. Our levels dipped there for a while but there's a lot more in this Bohemians team, we have winnable games ahead of us."