"This can give me a boost at club level"; Celtic Bhoy on his international splash

By John McGinley

March 27, 2023

Celtic prospect Johnny Kenny was delighted to score a goal on his first appearance for the Republic of Ireland U21 side over the weekend, insisting it can help him find form at club level.

Ireland U21 boss Jim Crawford turned to Kenny on the bench when the score against Iceland was deadlocked at 1-1 on Sunday, with his side also down to ten men.

The young striker took just minutes to find the back of the net, with Ireland holding on for a win that sets them up nicely for an important 2023. Kenny, on loan at Shamrock Rovers, is now determined to use it as a springboard for form at club level.

Photo By Seb Daly/Sportsfile via Getty Images

He said [Irish Independent]: “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 scored 12 senior goals for Sligo Rovers before making the switch to Celtic in January 2022. He has now joined Rovers for the 2023 season, a loan deal that will carry into the early stages of Celtic’s 2023/24 campaign.

That means he has time to establish himself and find scoring form. If he impresses, he’ll put himself firmly on the radar of the Celtic coaching staff and management team.

He’s earned a fair amount of minutes so far, making eight appearances and scoring two goals. It’s now about pushing on from this point and showing why the Bhoys have invested in his potential until 2026.

We’ll be watching his progress closely.

In other news, Former Rangers boss admits ‘phenomenal’ Celtic are setting the standard.