Dundalk FC winger Daniel Kearns is hoping to nail down a place in Noel King’s Republic of Ireland U21 squad for the upcoming 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship qualifiers, after admitting his “disappointment” at not being able to play a bigger part in Tuesday’s friendly win over Austria. Kearns, after lighting up the Dublin Super Cup with the Airtricity League XI, was called up for the final warm-up game ahead of next month’s qualifiers against Hungary and Turkey.
However, an ankle injury picked up against Sligo Rovers last weekend meant he could only play the final six minutes at The Showgrounds, the 19-year-old coming on to help the Irish to an injury-time win.
Speaking to Dundalkfc.com Kearns said “I was disappointed but I wasn’t 100 percent,”
“I had a little knock on my foot, a bit of swelling and bruising. I wasn’t actually even going to sit on the bench. I spoke to the manager and he said he was just going to leave it and not risk it. I didn’t want to be out for three or four weeks for the sake of one friendly. Obviously, I was disappointed that I wasn’t fully fit, but it was nice to meet up with the squad and be in and around the squad.
“It’s just disappointing that I couldn’t play a longer part in the game. I’m hoping to be in the squad for the qualifiers. That was the last preparation game and I didn’t really play, but hopefully I can continue to do what I’m doing at club level and keep putting in performances, and hopefully I get the nod when the qualifiers come up.”
Kearns, who made his U21 debut in Turkey last September, has enjoyed a fine season, scoring nine goals in 33 appearances, with Friday’s trip to United Park to face Drogheda United in the Louth Derby (kick-off 7.45pm) set to be his 47th competitive outing in Dundalk colours. “I’m happy enough with the way things are going at the minute,” Daniel, who has scored in both Louth Derbies this term, said.
“It’s another U21 cap. It was always something that I wanted to do. It’s a great honour for me to get that and to play for my country. Things are going well at the minute, at club level too. We just need to pick up a couple of more wins. Hopefully, we can do that and move right up the table and push ourselves into a European place, and see what happens at the end of the season.”
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