John Egan still taking his mother's advice

“It’s a special feeling, playing for your country. Captaining it? Being such a proud Irishman myself it doesn’t get any better."
John Egan still taking his mother's advice

12 October 2021; Shane Duffy of Republic of Ireland, left, gives the captain's armband to team-mate John Egan on being substituted during the international friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Qatar at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

JOHN Egan may have had the honour of captaining the Republic of Ireland but he is still getting advice on his game from his mum, Mary.

In the continued absence of Seamus Coleman, Egan took the captain's armband against Azerbaijan and when Shane Duffy was replaced against Qatar —  and he was delighted his mother was in Dublin for the latter fixture.

He said: “Yeah, she does give me her thoughts on my performances.

“But probably depending on the result. I’m usually in a pretty foul mood if we lose so, when that happens, I might not really want to hear it.

“But you always listen to your mum don’t you? And I suppose mine is more qualified than most to tell me what she thinks.” 

As for captaining the side, Egan added: “You get an inkling but you don’t really know until the team is picked.

“It was when I got to the ground, went inside the dressing room and saw the armband in my place - that’s the first time I really knew.

“It’s a special feeling, playing for your country. Captaining it? Being such a proud Irishman myself it doesn’t get any better. You feel a responsibility, because it’s the pinnacle of your career. Mum was up in Dublin when we came back, so that was great too.

“She’s old school, she's proud of her country and she gets a bit emotional.” 

Meanwhile, Egan feels that his game is getting better thanks to playing for the new Sheffield United manager, Slavisa Jokanovic.

He said: “He’s a top manager. No doubt about it. If you could see how much everybody here has improved, you’d be really impressed. That’s why we’re all really excited.

“There’s a lot of experience in this group and it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to earn it. Every single game, we feel like we can win.

“The manager, he is a really good coach and he takes lots of the sessions.

“You learn something every day. He’s improved me a lot, both on and off the ball. He’s big on the little details and that’s one of the reasons why I’m really enjoying it so much.”

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