While Mikey Johnston’s loan spell with Portuguese fifth placed Primeira Liga side Vitória de Guimarães, and his subsequent call up to Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland side, has returned the winger to the thoughts of the Celtic support, Johnny Kenny will be hoping a goalscoring performance for Ireland Under 21’s will have a similar effect.
Kenny scored for his country in Ireland’s 2-1 win over Iceland in a friendly at Turners Cross on Sunday afternoon, and he did so just six minutes after manager Jim Crawford sent him on a second half sub, in a come from behind win.
With Kenny stating post-match, as quoted in the Irish Independent that he has high hopes his international goal can also give him a boost at club level also.
“Any time I step out for my country, they’re probably the best games I play in. I have a good record for Ireland and hopefully I can keep that going. I think this can give me a boost at club level and hopefully I can kick on from here now. The lads performed very well and played with 10 men for the majority of the game and were still the better side for most of it. I knew Jim would call on me at some stage so I’m glad I can repay him.”
Kenny’s goal which put Ireland into the lead following Isak Andri Sigurgeirsson opener for Iceland and Tom Cannon’s leveller, came with just eight minutes left to play, when Kenny spun his marker and drove a shot into the bottom corner from outside the area with his left foot. He also had a chance to extend the lead when Kenny again cut in on his left foot inside the area but couldn’t replicate his earlier finish.
ALL THE GOALS | #IRLU21 | 🇮🇪 2-1 🇮🇸
Goals from Tom Cannon and Johnny Kenny see 10-man Ireland win in front of 6,000 fans in Turner’s Cross ☘️#COYBIG | #WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/8bAPM7qwsg
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) March 27, 2023
Kenny signed for Celtic in January 2022 from Sligo Rovers and with the player earmarked as one for the future but arguably unlikely to benefit from B-Team Lowland league football, he has been out on loan-somewhat controversially – at Shamrock Rovers this season, not something that is likely to have gone down well with his Sligo followers.
There is clearly plenty of natural goalscoring ability in Johnny Kenny’s armoury. Hopefully, as with Mikey Johnston, performances like Kenny’s goalscoring super sub contribution to Ireland’s 2-1 win over Iceland will ensure he also remains in the thoughts of Ange Postecoglou ahead of next season.