John eager to impress
Still uncapped at the age of 24, John Egan has come catching up to do before he can match the achievements of his one-time comrades like Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick.
But a place in the Ireland squad for the Wales/Iceland double-header over the next week is a hint that his time may have come at last.
Brentford man Egan is unlikely to play against Wales on Friday, with John O'Shea, Richard Keogh and Alex Pearce ahead of him in the queue, though his chance may come in the friendly with Iceland next week.
"It's my first call-up and I'm just going to take it day by day, try to earn the respect of the players and the staff with my performances in training and that's number one for me," says Egan. "You can never really expect the call-up, you have to work hard for it but I feel my form this season has been good and the manager has been at a few games so I feel I have earned it. My performances have got me here, at the start of the season one of my big goals was to break into the team, now I have my foot in the door I have to try and impress in training.
He already has an ally in Martin O'Neill, as Egan is grateful to the kindness shown to him by his then-Sunderland boss while on loan to Bradford in 2012: "He was the first one in the hospital the next day."