Gary Connaughton reporting from the Aviva Stadium
While Ireland did not get the result they wanted yesterday, one positive did come in Jayson Molumby's introduction to the team.
The Brighton midfielder made his international debut in the loss to Finland, acquitting himself very well. He was excellent in the first half, mixing an incredible work-rate with an ability to contribute on the ball.
It was a proud day for the midfielder, even if things did not go well for the team.
Speaking to members of the media after the game, Molumby said that this was the culmination of all his work in the game up to this point. He also said that while there were positive in the team's performance, Stephen Kenny will need time to implement his style with this group.
My family were aware. It was a huge moment for me. I tried not to really think about it, but it will sink in over the next few days now that my I'm away from it.
It's an unbelievable feeling. It's something I've worked hard for all my life really, so I'm really proud...
It was difficult. Match fitness is a bit behind and to get 90 minutes today is going to do me well going into the season. It's my first 90 minutes for a good six weeks, so hopefully I can build on that and kick on...
We were motivated and knew how much it means to us. Representing Ireland means a lot.
Obviously it's going to take a little bit of time with the gaffer, myself and the young lads making the step up, then the senior lads getting used to the gaffer and the way he wants to play.
It's just change all around, and in strange times.
This is set to be a big season for Molumby, who will be looking to break into the Brighton team after spending last season out on loan at Millwall.
When asked if he thinks he had done enough against Finland to put his hand up for a place in the side for the play-off against Slovakia, he said that could depend on his club form. He also hinted that he would seek a loan move if first team opportunities were not forthcoming at the Amex.
I don't know, I'll see. That's obviously down to the gaffer, I need to do my part at club level.
I definitely need to get fitter and I need to get playing at club level to have a chance. I'll go back to the club now and get in a few 90 minutes to get my match fitness...
I want to go back to the gaffer at Brighton. I love Brighton and they've been really good to me, so I want to go back and impress him.
But I need to be playing first team football if I'm going to be in with a shout to play international football. That's my aim, to play first team football.
It is set to be a big few months ahead for the the 21-year old.