With many new faces appearing in the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad, Manchester United’s Sean McGinty is just one of the few looking to make an impact ahead of Wednesday's friendly against Holland.
The 19-year-old has represented the Republic of Ireland at all levels since under-15s, and is therefore familiar with a number of his Irish team-mates. Although a place in the starting eleven is not guaranteed, McGinty is licking his lips at the prospect of featuring for Noel King’s side.
“It is very competitive. It will be tough to get into the side but obviously I want to start as many games as possible. I’m really looking forward to the challenge”, he said.
It can’t be denied that Holland have an extremely strong squad, with players from teams such as Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord featuring. Many would find the task at hand daunting, but the defender is eager to impress.
“They (Holland) are probably one of the only teams I’ve never played against. They’ll be very technical, I’m looking forward to playing against some of the best players in Europe. I’ll hopefully have a good game and improve on what I’ve already learned at Manchester United. Noel King’s brought me into the side and I just want to try and impress.”
At 19 years of age, McGinty’s maturity is admirable. Several loan-spells, at Carlisle and Oxford among others, have allowed him to get some badly needed game time. “I’ve been out on loan recently with Carlisle, I didn’t play a lot of games. I was only there for two months helping them out but I’m back at Man United now playing reserve games and I’m really enjoying my football.
I’m just looking forward to getting a few more games under my belt and keeping my fitness up. This week is a great chance to do that.”
His Ireland teammate Robbie Brady recently moved to Championship side Hull, following a loan spell from Manchester United. The 6ft 3 defender indicated that he could follow in the Dubliner’s footsteps, and make the move to the second tier of English football: “As a defender you develop a bit later, so maybe next year I’ll get out to the Championship and see what I can do. I’m still only 19.”
A handful of under-21 players have been called into the Republic of Ireland senior squad recently, something that he would like to add to his CV: “The first hurdle is under-21s. I need to prove myself at this level before I move on. If I do well at this level, hopefully the gaffer (Trapattoni) will call on me.”