Brighter days ahead for impressive young Bazunu
Making your senior international debut as a teenager is an extraordinary achievement, and it should be remembered as one of the greatest moments of your life.
For Dublin 19-year-old Gavin Bazunu, the pride of that momentous occasion will always be overshadowed by the sour taste of a 1-0 loss to international minnows Luxembourg. The hope now is that the youngster will go onto achieve enough both for Ireland and in club football so that he can reflect on this memory as a bump rather than the norm and by his performance and his post-match interview, it's clear that he has both the attributes and the mentality to kick on.
The on-loan Rochdale goalkeeper's display was the bright spot in an otherwise bleak evening for Ireland. First he recovered well to keep out an attempted lob from Gerson Rodrigues before showing his sharpness and flexibility to deny Vincent Thill from close range in the second half.
Bazunu couldn't be faulted for Rodrigues' late winner - a powerful strike into the corner - and looked both assured and confident throughout the game. Afterwards, Seamus Coleman mentioned that he hoped the defeat and its recriminations wouldn't demoralise youngsters like Bazunu but given the debutante's mature interview with Ann-Marie Keegan on Virgin Media Sport, you wouldn't think the Donegal man has anything to worry about.
"It's a good personal achievement for myself but it's disappointing for the team," the Man City owned player began.
"The performance wasn't good enough as a whole team, including from myself. What can I say? It just wasn't good enough."
That was certainly a harsh personal evaluation from Bazunu, who showed his strong on-field communication as well as shot-stopping skills. He went onto thank Coleman for being so welcoming this week before adding that he will give his mother the jersey from his Ireland debut.
"All the lads were great with me, especially Seamus who has been brilliant with me all week. That made me really comfortable. That's my job (to communicate), I have to be the loudest, I have to communicate.
Huge credit to Gavin for doing this interview, he was the first one out to speak with me.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, last time I interviewed him he was 16 @ShamrockRovers but he spoke so honestly, even if he was a little harsh on himself. Better nights ahead for him 🇮🇪 https://t.co/O8C2CKyCyH
— Ann-Marie Keegan (@AnnMarie_Keegan) March 28, 2021
There are better days ahead for this impressive young man.