Rotherham United winger Chiedozie Ogbene on Ireland call-up

ROTHERHAM UNITED winger Chiedozie Ogbene believes that his cherished first call-up to the Republic of Ireland senior squad is just reward for his painstaking road back to full fitness following a serious knee injury.

Chiedozie Ogbene.

Ogbene has been called into Stephen Kenny's squad for the forthcoming games against Andorra and Hungary.

Ireland face the Andorrans in Barcelona on June 3 and take on Hungary in another friendly in Budapest five days later.

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The 24-year-old Nigeria-born player, who was brought up in Cork and has previously played for League of Ireland sides Cork City and Limerick, was sidelined for much of 2020-21 following knee surgery, but returned for the run-in.

He featured eight times during a congested end to the season for the Millers and he is now eyeing a full international bow at senior level.

He said: “As I’ve said previously, I believe in myself and I think that the Rotherham players and the coaching staff believe in me too. I’m extremely grateful to them for helping me through such a difficult season with my injury and subsequent rehab.

“This was the first long-term injury that I have had in my career and it was a huge shock to me initially and it felt like a long road back, but being selected for Ireland really does feel like a reward for all the hard work.

“Of course, I am absolutely delighted to receive this call up to the Republic of Ireland national team, the thought of representing Ireland and sharing a pitch with the calibre of players we have at our disposal is a real honour and a privilege for me.

“Now, I’m just looking forward to the friendlies and can’t wait to meet up with the rest of the team and get going.”