The onset of September could bring with it new territory in the Rooney household in the form of a maiden Ireland cap and fatherhood for Aberdeen striker Adam.
As he reflected yesterday on his first training session alongside many players he’s played with and against in the past, the 27-year-old paused to consider another imminent new beginning in his life.
“My wife Rachel is due our first baby in two weeks,” he explained. “She’s from Dublin but is in Aberdeen at the minute. Only for this call-up, I’d be still with her waiting for the baby to arrive.
“We just hope the baby doesn’t come early now and I don’t get a phonecall when we arrive in Faro. It could be a good couple of weeks for me — actually a great couple of weeks.”
Such has been Rooney’s wait for senior international recognition, there was no chance of his other half holding him back from reporting for the double-header Euro qualifier against Gibraltar and Georgia.
Four goals in his last four games for a Dons side just a point off champions Celtic in the SPL table gives him a tally only captain Robbie Keane can match in terms of recent form.
Such form may convince Martin O’Neill to unleash him against the group minnows on Friday.
Rooney realises there’s catching up to do, especially as he was culled from the last squad for the matches against England and Scotland at the 11th hour.
He said: “To be fair, the manager rang me and said: ‘Look, you’ve had a great season but just missed out this time and we’ll keep you on the radar.’
“I was disappointed to miss out the last time, as anyone would be, but I’m delighted to be here now. I hadn’t booked any summer holidays so managed to get away for a week then. It was good as I watched the Ireland games on holiday in Portugal.
“Now that I’m here, I just want to impress the manager and try get some minutes on the pitch.”
Since Rooney burst on the scene as a teenager by scoring a hat-trick for a Stoke City side then in the Championship, nothing has come easy. His move to Birmingham City in 2011 on the back of a goalscoring spree at Inverness didn’t work out and there was times when international football seemed an ambition too far.
“As I got older, I probably thought the chance of getting this opportunity was gone,” he admitted.
“I could have stayed in England before coming to Aberdeen last year but I felt this was my best option.”
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