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“It was overwhelming” – Andrew Omobamidele on Stephen Kenny phone call ahead of Ireland debut

Andrew Omobamidele

The young Irish defender helped Norwich City gain promotion.

Republic of Ireland defender Andrew Omobamidele has said he didn’t know it was Stephen Kenny ringing to tell him he had earned a call-up to his first senior international squad.

Omobamidele’s career has accelerated since making his Norwich City debut earlier this year, having previously been involved with the club’s Under-23 team. The 18-year-old started the Canaries’ last eight games of the season as they gained promotion back to the Premier League.

Omobamidele Ireland

Andrew Omobamidele’s career so far.

During that time, he also made his Ireland Under-21 debut and will now join up with the senior squad for the first time for the upcoming friendlies against Andorra and Hungary.

The centre-back described hearing the news as a “proud moment” for himself and spoke of his excitement at being involved in Kenny’s plans.

“It’s a really proud moment for me and my family, and Leixlip as a community, because we’ve worked so hard,” Omobamidele told Virgin Media News’ Bernard O’Toole.

“Growing up there and being born and raised in Ireland, it’s a kid’s dream to play with the senior international team so it’s a very proud moment for me and my family.”

Andrew Omobamidele on Stephen Kenny phone call.

Regarding the phone call itself, the defender wasn’t aware it was the Republic of Ireland manager on the phone when he first answered.

“Yeah it was a phone call, saying that I’ve been selected and to enjoy the experience,” Omobamidele continued.

“It was overwhelming because I didn’t know the number on my phone. It rang and I was like, ‘who’s this?’ and he was like ‘Stephen Kenny’

“So it was a bit funny there but he welcomed me into the camp so I’m looking forward to it.”

Ireland take on Andorra on June 3 and Hungary on June 8 in international friendlies. The games will act as preparation for September’s World Cup Qualifiers triple-header against Portugal, Azerbaijan and Serbia. Ireland are yet to win a game under Kenny.

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