Sunday 17 December 2017

Irish hope Danny hails hero Costello

Danny Rogers
Danny Rogers

It was a good weekend for at least one graduate of Ard Scoil Rís on Dublin's northside as Cormac Costello played his part in Dublin's All-Ireland success against Mayo.

Fellow northsider Danny Rogers has another type of Ireland progress in mind, as the keeper is still celebrating his call-up to the republic's senior squad for the World Cup double header against Georgia and Moldova.

Rogers, on loan from Aberdeen to Scottish second-tier side Falkirk, had hoped for some international action this week, but he'd expected that to come in a qualifier for the U21 side against Serbia on Friday, but instead he's part of the senior panel for Thursday's game with Georgia.

It's been a busy few days so he hasn't had time to catch up with Dubs hero Costello yet. "I was playing while the (Dublin) match was on but I know Cormac well. I haven't spoked to him, he was probably too drunk to even reply even if I did," joked Rogers.

"He scored the last three points did he? He's unbelievable. Even when we were at school, he was just unbelievable."

Rogers could also see his presence in the senior squad this week as unbelievable, as if he was to feature against Georgia he would become the first player to win a senior Ireland cap while playing in the Scottish second tier since 1931.

We have been here lots of times before, when a rookie keeper is called up to the senior squad but ends up going home with nothing to show for it: keepers Brian Murphy, Stephen Henderson, Aaron McCarey, Ian Lawlor and, more recently, Gary Rogers, have all been on the bench for a senior international but remain uncapped.

But with Keiren Westwood missing through injury and David Forde still in the self-imposed exile which has effectively ended his Ireland career, Rogers is next in line should something happen to first choice Darren Randolph.

Don't say it can't happen, as Randolph had an unexpected competitive senior debut as a sub for the injured Shay Given against Germany last year. "I think I'd be more than capable and be ready. That's what happened with Darren. He went in and he's cemented his place. He's been number one ever since," added Rogers, from the Pinebrook area of Artane. "I'll be more than ready to go in and grab it with both hands. Hopefully it will all go well," added Rogers.

On loan to the Bairns, Rogers' plan is to establish himself at parent club Aberdeen, aware that exposure with Ireland does no harm.

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