Rotherham United winger earns Republic of Ireland international call-up

Rotherham winger Chiedozie Ogbene has been handed a first international call-up.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 2:49 pm
Chiedozie Ogbene of Rotherham United has been called into the Republic of Ireland squad. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old has been named in the Republic of Ireland squad for upcoming games against Andorra and Hungary.

Ogbene, who was born in Nigeria but moved to Ireland in 2005, saw most of his 2020/21 season wiped out with a serious knee injury.

He suffered ligament damage in training after just four games of the season in October which needed surgery.

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An attempted comeback in January hit problems and it was not until April that Ogbene was able to get back on to the pitch. He took part in eight games but could not help the Millers avoid relegation to League One on the final day.

Despite that lack of action, Ireland boss Stephen Kenny has given him a chance to impress in two summer friendlies.

Ogbene posted on social media after the squad was announced: “What an honor! thank you all for the kind messages.”

Ireland, who did not qualify for the European Championship, play Andorra in Barcelona on June 3 before heading to Hungary five days later.

Kenny has used the friendly matches to bring fresh blood into the squad with four players in total receiving their first call-ups – Ogbene being joined by Shamrock Rovers’ Daniel Mandroiu, St Mirren’s Jamie McGrath and Norwich City defender Andrew Omobamidele.

A Millers statement read: “Everyone at Rotherham United would like to congratulate Chieo on this fantastic news, following what has been a tough season for him as a result of his injury.”