Connor Ronan shone with a Man of the Match performance for Republic of Ireland U21 in their first game of Euro qualifiers on Sunday, while Matty Virtue struck a 25-yard stunner for Blackpool.
Ronan, who is currently on loan with Slovakia side FC DAC, provided two assists and was given a standing ovation by the crowd at Tallaght Stadium, as Ireland beat Luxembourg 3-0.
The virtuoso performance drew praise from new manager Stephen Kenny, who also recognised the resilience of Ronan following his move to Slovakia.
“Everybody’s had kicks in the teeth in football,” said Kenny.
“You have to have guts about you to go to Slovakia and take that chance on. He’s had a few weeks out there of not playing, just getting himself into the team.
“I watched him play the last few weeks and he’s done very well. He’s taken that into today’s very inventive, intelligent, lively and good performance.”
Ronan and the Ireland team play Armenia next on Thursday.
Virtue blasts from deep
A strike 25-yards out from Virtue has been labelled a contender for Blackpool goal of the season.
Virtue carried the ball from well within his own half, before unleashing with his right foot to score Blackpool’s second goal in their 4-1 victory over Bradford City.
The win takes Blackpool up to eighth spot in League One and just two points behind sixth placed Charlton. Virtue and Blackpool next face Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.