Coleman's Birthday Bonus
Republic of Ireland man speaks of captaincy delight.
As far as birthday presents go, the chance to captain your country must certainly be up there.
But when Seamus Coleman turned 25 on Friday, he wasn't expecting the Republic of Ireland armband to be among his gifts.
The Everton right-back had been previously only handed the responsibility towards the end of recent internationals following series of substitutions.
And with World Cup qualification requiring a mathematical miracle before kick-off in Cologne, a 3-0 defeat to Germany finally ended those Brazilian dreams.
Yet the game brought about Coleman's first opportunity to lead his nation into battle from the start and it is one he will cherish regardless of the result.
"It was a very good birthday present," he explained with a smile. "It makes the 25 not so bad - I don't like being 25, I'm pushing on a bit.
“It’s a massive honour. It’s very special and it came as a shock.
"[Interim manager] Noel King just called me aside and asked me how I would feel about it, and obviously I was delighted.
“You grow up wanting these things and you’ve had the likes of Robbie Keane being captain.
“[Keane] was brilliant, he had a word with me before the game and just told me to enjoy it. It’s a massive honour for all of my family who are watching.
"Obviously the result is disappointing and everyone in there is disappointed that we were beaten, but to captain your country is something I will always have and it's a very proud moment for me."
With regular skipper Keane missing the fixture, Coleman is likely to relinquish the armband on his return. It's a sacrifice he is willing to make to see the team at full strength.
"I'd say Robbie might be back [for Tuesday's tie against Kazhakstan], hopefully. We need our best players back, and obviously John O'Shea is back as well.
"I enjoyed tonight, but if we can get our best players back, I will be more than happy to give it back."
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