It’s an old saying granted, but they do say that good things come to those who wait.
And there can be no finer example of this than Rotherham United winger Chiedozie Ogbene, who after what he admits was one of the toughest challenges of his career, received his first senior international call-up on Monday.
Of course, during his rehab from an injury he sustained in October, there was not much ‘waiting’ involved as such for the flying winger, who was working hard behind the scenes in his rehabilitation, and even after some setbacks along the way, he still got himself back in the first team fold for the final month of the campaign.
Now, the 24-year-old has a tangible reward for all his hard work, and after being robbed of his first proper tilt at Sky Bet Championship level, Ogbene is in contention to earn himself his Republic of Ireland debut.
An opportunity, that he is determined to make the most of.
“To get the opportunity to play at this level is every player’s dream. It is great news to hear after facing such a challenging year personally and I’m excited for the challenge of testing myself in such a prestigious environment."
“As I’ve said previously, I believe in myself and I think that the Rotherham players and the coaching staff believe in me too. I’m extremely grateful to them for helping me through such a difficult season with my injury and subsequent rehab.
“This was the first long-term injury that I have had in my career and it was a huge shock to me initially and it felt like a long road back, but being selected for Ireland really does feel like a reward for all the hard work.”
Ogbene could be in-line to win his first cap when Stephen Kenny’s men travel to Johan Cruyff Stadium to face Andorra on Thursday 3rd June. Five days later, they take on Hungary at Szusza Ferenec Stadion, as attentions turn towards preparing for the remaining 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Obviously delighted with the news, Chieo admitted that he now cannot wait to get going, as he looks to pull on the green jersey for the first time.
“Of course, I am absolutely delighted to receive this call up to the Republic of Ireland National Team, the thought of representing Ireland and sharing a pitch with the calibre of players we have at our disposal is a real honour and a privilege for me."
“Now, I’m just looking forward to the friendlies and can’t wait to meet up with the rest of the team and get going.”