Horgan, Boyle & Hourihane gush after popping Ireland cherry

Three of four of ROI's debutants spoke to Goal after their 1-0 loss to Iceland – and some enjoyed it more than others

Ireland fell to a 1-0 friendly loss against Iceland on Tuesday, but for three of their four debutants it was still a night to remember fondly.

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Daryl Horgan, Andy Boyle, Conor Hourihane and John Egan all made their bows at international level, and are looking to kick on and be part of what they hope will be a bright future for the Boys in Green.

For 24-year-old Horgan, the nervousness that comes with representing your country for the first time came second to the glory.

“You're always going to be nervous,” Horgan told Goal. “But at the end of the day, it's a game of football. It's 11 v 11. Different games are always going to be different. 

“But it was a chance for me to play for Ireland, I wasn't going to turn that down.

On making his debut alongside good friend Boyle, he added: “It was brilliant - I'm delighted for him too.

“I played with John Egan and Conor Hourihane before as well. It's nice to make our debuts at the same time. It's not going to be easy with so many debutants, but to make it with Boyler, it was brilliant, we've gone through a lot together. It was nice to make this one together."

Daryl Horgan

Boyle, meanwhile, had plenty to say about Horgan.

“It's nice,” he began, “I suppose at this moment in time, we probably come in a package. The two of us doing well at club level and then to get our international debuts on the same night is special.

“Hopefully I've done enough tonight to plant the seeds in his [Martin O'Neill's] head. He's been good enough to select me in the past two camps and I just want to keep doing well in training and then hope to do well on the pitch.

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"I think the past year has been a bit of a whirlwind, going by what we've done at club level with Dundalk and then the move to Preston, and then tonight to cap it off with the first international cap. It's been amazing and hopefully it's the first of many."

But while Horgan and Boyle were over the moon to have popped their international cherry, Hourihane's take on things was rather more withdrawn, instead focusing on points which Ireland should hope to improve.

Conor Hourihane, Aston Villa

“I did okay. Obviously it's my first start at international level, it's a bit nervous going out there, but I thought I did okay. It's nice to get the first one under the belt and hopefully I can crack on from here.

“I think the wall was all wrong [for the goal]. Inside in the dressing room there was a bit of debate going on, players in whatever positions, but it's just one of them things.

“Disappointing goal, disappointing result, disappointing all round. It's one of those things where you dream of playing your first game and winning three or four nil and all that kind of thing, and being a fairytale but it wasn't to be.

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It wasn't all doom and gloom, however, as he looked towards a brighter future alongside Ireland's new-boys – and in particular former Brentford team-mate John Egan.

"John did alright,” he said. “It's both of our first starts. It's nice to get the first one, and hopefully there will be many more for both of us."