Aaron Connolly is back
Bit late now, you might say.
Aaron Connolly is back, I say.
It was a tough blow, losing out on penalties to Slovakia after dominating them, after losing Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly pre game owing to HSE regulations, finding out the case they were deemed a close contact with later returned negative and missing out on the Euros in the process and all the memories, the home games for this tournament and the money that would've provided.
A tough, tough blow.
But that was just the third game of the Stephen Kenny reign. Before that, he had taken just five training sessions with the team and things, already, have been looking better.
The draw against Wales on Sunday night wasn't spectacular but, with five players being omitted from the squad with Covid a factor, the manager's hands were tied.
"Stephen Kenny has this group of people lying around the island waiting and willing for him to fail miserably, because he suggested that Ireland could play better football.
"That's his crime!"@ConanDoherty talks "football heritage" on The Football Spin pic.twitter.com/NPwHGpAkZu
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) October 9, 2020
But, now, Aaron Connolly is back.
It's been frustrating for the player in question too. He was healthy all along, he was fit to play and he was eager but had to miss out on a one-off playoff for a major tournament which would've set them up for a trip to Belfast next month.
He was then sent back to Brighton but, now, in a whirlwind week, Connolly has rejoined the Republic of Ireland squad and is available for selection for the Finland Nations League game which kicks off at 5pm on Wednesday.
With Adam Idah also returning, Kenny has a better pick for the clash and the FAI confirmed the good news in a statement.
'Republic of Ireland striker Aaron Connolly has rejoined the squad ahead of the UEFA Nations League match against Finland on Wednesday.
'Connolly has been given permission to rejoin the squad by the HSE and travelled back to Dublin this morning.
'The Brighton & Hove Albion forward joins the five players who linked up with the squad last night; Dara O'Shea, Jason Knight, Ryan Manning, Ronan Curtis and Adam Idah.'
Republic of Ireland squad v Finland
Goalkeepers: Darren Randolph (West Ham United), Caoimhin Kelleher (Liverpool), Mark Travers (Bournemouth).
Defenders: Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Shane Duffy (Celtic, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion), Kevin Long (Burnley), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest, on loan from Fulham), Dara O'Shea (West Bromwich Albion).
Midfielders: Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), James McCarthy (Crystal Palace), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers), Robbie Brady (Burnley), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Jason Knight (Derby County), Ryan Manning (Queens Park Rangers).
Forwards: Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Sean Maguire (Preston North End), Shane Long (Southampton), Adam Idah (Norwich City), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth)