"It was the proudest night of my career," John Egan said in the mixed zone following Ireland's 3-1 win against Bulgaria on Tuesday night.
The 26-year-old, on the occasion of his fifth cap, led Ireland for the first time.
"I'm a proud Irishman and captaining your country is the pinnacle of your career. I know it's a friendly but no one can ever take it away from me."
Egan was one of three Corkmen in Ireland's starting backline - centre-back partner Kevin Long and left-back experiment Conor Hourihane being the others.
Another Corkman, Alan Browne, opened the scoring while Long headed in Ireland's second goal of the game. "I'm buzzing for the two lads getting on the scoresheet," said Egan.
Just over ten minutes after Browne's goal, Bulgaria equalised via a penalty, one awarded for a foul by Egan.
"The penalty is a blot on the copybook but these things happen when you're a centre-half and you can't get too down because it will throw you off your game," said Egan.
Breaking up Mick McCarthy's first-choice centre-back partnership of Shane Duffy and Richard Keogh will be the next step for Egan.
"Listen, the lads are doing well, the team is doing very well," he said.
"They haven't conceded many goals.
"I just have to keep my head down and keep doing well at Sheffield United. When I come in, I just have to do well in training and if I'm given a chance like tonight, I've got to play well and stake my claim.
"Sometimes the team does well and you've got to wait."
Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile