WHEN Leesider Adam Idah made his Ireland debut in Thursday's 1-1 draw away to Bulgaria, he had a few familiar faces by his side.
John Egan and Conor Hourihane were also in the starting 11 for Stephen Kenny's first competitive game at the helm and though they're in their late '20s, the players crossed paths previously when Idah was a highly-promising schoolboy star with College Corinthians.
"I know Adam a few years now, he's from Cork and back in the day, he was scoring a lot of goals with Corinthians," explained Egan ahead of Sunday's UEFA Nations League game against Finland at the Aviva. "I think I presented him with an award when he was about 13 and he was the same size as me, he's a big unit!
"I was delighted for him, delighted that he got his first Irish start and hopefully it's the first of many. Hopefully, the young lads can keep improving and it only bodes well for the future of Irish football.
"It was either for his age group Player of the Year or Overall Player of the Year. We played against each other in the Premier League this year and he put up a picture of me presenting him the award and then me marking him in the Premier League so it was quite funny.
"He's a really good prospect and hopefully he can keep the head down now and see where it takes him."