Stephen Kenny has put an emphasis on promoting youth since his coming in as Ireland manager, handing a number of players their debuts over the last couple of years. Many of those have since gone on to establish themselves as key members of the squad.
Kenny knows the plusses of getting an opportunity to shine early in your career, although his own opportunities did not come on the playing side of the game. He had a brief career as a player, going from the youth ranks at Belvedere to St Pat's, although he would never make a senior appearance at Inchicore. His only taste of League of Ireland football came during a handful of appearances at Home Farm in the First Division.
While the Ireland boss would quickly go on to establish himself as a coach, his son is now making waves as a youth player.
Eoin Kenny is a highly rated prospect at Dundalk, moving up through their youth ranks in recent years. He has now received international recognition, but it has come from a surprising source.
Stephen Kenny's son included in Northern Ireland squad
Eoin Kenny has been included in the Northern Ireland U18 squad for the first team for their upcoming fixtures against Manchester United.
Interesting to see Dundalk’s Eoin Kenny named in NI U18s. He’s a talented attacking midfielder. Oh & his Da is the Ireland senior team manager! ⚽️😳 https://t.co/qxfSEWGt9m
— Stephen Finn (@FutsalFinn) July 19, 2022
It is unclear how the youngster is eligible for Northern Ireland, although he would have been born during his father's first spell at Derry City which could explain the situation.
Sunday | Manages Ireland to a 3-0 win over Luxembourg
Tuesday | Watches his two sons, Eoin & Fionn Kenny play for @maristdundalk in a 1-0 win over the De La Salle in the North West Leinster League
A great few days for @FAIreland manager Stephen Kenny | #SupportGrassroots pic.twitter.com/RZT2h80DM9
— FAI Grassroots (@FAIGrassroots) November 17, 2021
Northern Ireland will face Manchester United twice next week in the SuperCupNI tournament, with a number of Derry City youth players making up the rest of the League of Ireland representation within the squad.
Of course, featuring in such a fixture would not rule out the prospect of Eoin Kenny featuring for the Republic of Ireland in the future.