Saturday 16 February 2019

'I'm quietly confident', says hero Darren's proud dad

Grainne Kelly and Eoin Cassin, from Skerries, in Copenhagen
Grainne Kelly and Eoin Cassin, from Skerries, in Copenhagen
Darren Randolph with Ireland kitman Dick Redmond
Ireland fans enjoy themselves on Saturday in Copenhagen

His goalkeeper son was the hero of the hour when Ireland met Denmark on Saturday night.

Now Darren Randolph's proud dad Ed has revealed he is "quietly confident" that the Boys in Green can make it to the World Cup finals.

The basketball coach was in fact watching his two sons play gallantly on Saturday night - one in a Dublin basketball game and the other acting as the last line of defence for Ireland against the Danes in Copenhagen.

"I was watching my two sons represent their country - and their team - at the same time, one in soccer and the other in basketball and I was the proudest dad, I was over the moon," Ed said.


"I was in the gym in Inchicore watching Neil play and he was having a great game, and I was looking down at Darren playing in Copenhagen on my phone at the same time and my heart was skipping a couple of beats.

"I almost went into panic when my screen froze in the 90th minute and I didn't know whether Darren hit the ball over the bar or if the Danes had scored.

"I was like, 'Oh Lord, please'. But when I finally got the phone back on I saw it was a corner and three minutes of additional time so I knew everything was OK and I was happy. I was just sitting there saying 'Blow it up, blow it up'.

"Now I'm looking forward to tomorrow and I'm quietly confident Ireland and Darren can make it to the World Cup.

"I'll be there with my family supporting my son and the Boys in Green. We can do it."

Ed, who was planning to visit Darren last night to catch up on family time, praised the Middlesbrough goalkeeper for his "calm" attitude, which he feels will help the side beat Denmark tomorrow night in the do-or-die match at the Aviva Stadium.

"Darren's calm temperament has been talked about over the years and there's been some talk that maybe he's a bit too cool and laid back, but I think it works in his favour with a big tournament," Ed said.

"He doesn't let the pressure get to him. He stays calm and humble.

"We need to win the match, and if we can do that by scoring a goal, great, and if not, it's going to have to be penalties and that's nail-biting, but we can do it and hopefully Darren can stop penalties.


"I'm a proud father and am really happy for Darren and the whole Irish team and the management.

"Both my sons have done really well representing their country, and this is a special place to be in as a dad, watching both boys represent Ireland as proud Irishmen.

"Neil was on fire on Saturday and Darren defended his country in goal. The two of them, they're amazing."

Ed said he had recently discovered that his two sons have sport in their blood on both sides of the family and that "it's not just me to thank, but their mother Anne's side too".

He said they had recently found out that the brothers' grandad, Alf Walsh, from Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, had been a GAA goalkeeper.

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