Irish striker Aiden O’Brien said he was “over the moon” following a goal on his full debut as the Republic drew 1-1 against Poland in their international friendly in Wroclaw on Tuesday night.
O’Brien impressed up top as Ireland stopped the rot of defeat with a solid draw in a game many expected O’Neill’s men to lose. The Millwall striker held the ball up really well and showed good composure in heading home his first goal in a green shirt.
Following the game, O’Brien was clearly pleased speaking to the media, with what was a dream start to his hopefully lengthy international career.
“To get a start I was over the moon and my family were so proud,” said O’Brien. “To top it off with a goal … I’m speechless.
“The manager told us before the game in the hotel. I was relaxed out there, and just gave everything for the nation. Long may it continue.
“I’m here to be counted. One day I want to lead the line for Ireland, whatever game it may be.
“I want to be here for a long time. Hopefully today I made a statement.
“We bounced back today, we were solid.”
The 24-year old put Ireland in the lead in Wroclaw after he met Callum O’Dowda’s teasing cross from the right, but Poland equalised with five minutes to go in the game after some excellent build-up play and finishing from Leeds United midfielder Mateusz Klich.
O’Neill will certainly be pleased with O’Brien and a number of other new faces including Shaun Williams and Enda Stevens who impressed on their full international debuts.