"I was already taking my jersey off!" - Andrew Omobamidele's post-match interview was so pure
"I thought it was in... "
What dreams may come for Andrew Omobamidele.
The 19-year-old from Leixlip showed us all against Portugal, last Wednesday in Faro, that he has what it takes at international level. He came on against a star-studded Portuguese side, after Dara O'Shea was injured, early on, and looked like a 30-cap veteran.
Stephen Kenny did not play the 19-year-old against Azerbaijan, but he handed him a first competitive start against a Serbia team full of players that operate in Champions League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Premier League and Serie A circles.
Gavin Bazunu may have left the Aviva Stadium tonight with the Man of the Match award, but Omobamidele was the best defender on show, from both sides. On three occasions he made vital tackles or clearances to prevent Serbian goals.
Such was his whirlwind night though, and a sign of the confidence this guy has in his own game, that many of us were left talking about his rasping drive that almost won all three points.
With the scores level at 1-1, and the game in added time, the Leixlip native unleashed a rocket that Serbia goalkeeper Predrag Rajković was at full stretch to keep out.
"I thought it was in," Omobamidele told RTÉ after the game. "I was already taking my jersey off when it left my boot!"
Having impressed in the Championship with Norwich, last season, the young defender has only made one senior appearance so far this season, in the League Cup. He credited the older players in the squad for helping him settle in.
As for where Ireland can go from here, Omobamidele is convinced there are even better days and nights ahead. "We've learned that we can play," he declared.
"The nation have to try their best to keep their faith in us. We saw against Portugal, with their world class players like Ronaldo and Fernandes, that we went toe-to-toe with them for the majority of the game.
"This part of the campaign has obviously been disappointing with with two draws and one loss but I think we can take a lot from it."
Andrew Omobamidele chats to @corkTOD after an impressive start on his first start.
Luckily he had Shane Duffy to coach him through interview
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— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) September 7, 2021
Interview assist for Shane Duffy there too.