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Ireland call latest proof that Leahy made right move by coming home


Bohs' Darragh Leahy. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Bohs' Darragh Leahy. Photo: SPORTSFILE


Bohs' Darragh Leahy. Photo: SPORTSFILE

His very own Brexit, and leaving England behind, has turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to the career of Dubliner Darragh Leahy.

Last year, where he established himself in the first team at Bohemians, was a good start, but there's been no Second Season Syndrome for the full back, with rewards on a personal level such as this week's call-up to Stephen Kenny's Ireland U21 team, and also success for his team, Bohs the league leaders until they were overtaken by Shamrock Rovers.

Leahy walked out of Coventry City with six months remaining on his contract when he opted to come home and while some would advise players in England to stick it out as long as possible, his success vindicated his decision to come back.

"At the time I honestly wasn't sure of coming home was the right thing to do, part of me was thinking of just staying on and seeing out my contract," says Leahy ahead of his club's test away to Cork CIty tonight. "I often think where I'd have ended up if I had stayed, maybe I'd be way down in the league leagues, only there for the sake of being in England. But I made the call to come home and Bohs have been brilliant for me, you might think it's a step backwards but it's been a major step forward for me and my career.

"I had a decent season last year, playing so many games with Bohs and getting into the PFAI team of the year, but to make the U21 squad is something else," says the former St Kevin's Boys player.

"I had played for Ireland all the way up from the U16s so I was delighted to be told on Wednesday that I was in the squad for the Luxembourg game next week," added Leahy, one of two Bohs players in the U21 squad as the club hopes to end a 10-year wait for an U21 cap (Paddy Madden in 2009 was the last).

Recognition was merited by the club's impressive start to the season, Bohs one of only two Premier Division sides unbeaten, though that record will be tested in Turner's Cross, Cork a bogey side for Bohs since last year's controversial FAI Cup defeat.

"People on the outside may be shocked with our good start but it's no shock to us, we have gelled really well as a team despite having so many new players, it's still early days and Cork away is a tough game but we're confident."