Seamus Coleman is well aware that his responsibilities as captain stretch far beyond the 90 minutes on a football pitch.
In recent years, we’ve heard several stories from Seamus Coleman’s Everton teammates which have made it very clear that the Killybegs man takes his duties as Toffees captain seriously.
And it appears that Coleman is exactly the same with the Ireland squad as he made a point of welcoming Gavin Bazunu to the fold after the Rochdale goalkeeper was called up by Stephen Kenny.
This is great 😍
How our skipper welcomes a new player to his first international camp 👌
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) March 21, 2021
As the Irish team met up in Manchester on Sunday, Coleman went directly to Bazunu and encouraged him by telling him that he was flying on his loan spell with Rochdale.
The 19-year-old, on loan from Manchester City, clearly appreciated the words of support from the Irish skipper, who has been praised by supporters.
“Every team should have a Seamus!” one follower replied. “If there was ever a prize for a football legend on and off the field he would get it hands down! What a professional he is.”
Another added: “Proper player and gentlemen who remembers that he was once the new player coming in. Total respect for the man. That must have meant a lot to Gavin.”
Bazunu could be in line for his senior Ireland debut this week as Kenny has been forced into contingency plans amid an ongoing injury crisis.
With Darren Randolph injured, it was anticipated that Caoimhin Kelleher would start for Ireland in their World Cup qualifiers but the Liverpool stopper was subsequently ruled out due to an injury of his own.
The updated Ireland squad reads as follows:
Goalkeepers: Mark Travers (AFC Bournemouth), Gavin Bazunu (Rochdale, on loan from Manchester City), Kieran O’Hara (Burton Albion).
Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Matt Doherty (Tottenham Hotspur), Shane Duffy (Celtic, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Dara O’Shea (West Bromwich Albion), Ryan Manning (Swansea City), Cyrus Christie (Nottingham Forest), Darragh Lenihan (Blackburn Rovers).
Midfielders: Alan Browne (Preston North End), Jeff Hendrick (Newcastle United), Jayson Molumby (Preston North End, on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion), Jason Knight (Derby County), Josh Cullen (Anderlecht), Conor Coventry (West Ham United).
Wingers: Robbie Brady (Burnley), James McClean (Stoke City), Daryl Horgan (Wycombe Wanderers), Ronan Curtis (Portsmouth).
Strikers: Callum Robinson (West Bromwich Albion), Aaron Connolly (Brighton and Hove Albion), Shane Long (AFC Bournemouth, on loan from Southampton), James Collins (Luton Town), Troy Parrott (Ipswich Town, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur).