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Lions Irish duo capture media attention

Irish eyes are smiling...

13 September 2018

Millwall's Shaun Williams and Aiden O'Brien enjoyed a fruitful international break this September as the pair both notched their first goals for the Republic of Ireland.

Williams robbed Aarson Ramsey of possession to dink a consolation in the Emerald Isle's 4-1 UEFA Nations League defeat to Wales in Cardiff, whilst O'Brien was on target in Tuesday night's 1-1 international friendly draw with Poland in Wroclaw.

Given their rise to international stardom, the pair became the subject of the Irish media's desires, and takes a look at the best of the publications...

The Irish Mirror described Williams as the "heartbeat" of the Ireland side and labelled the midfielder and O'Brien as the "success stories" of the stalemate in Poland.

"I thought Shaun played really well for us," said Ireland boss Martin O'Neill. "He keeps things ticking over. I’ve seen every bit as much of him as I’ve seen of O’Brien."

The Mirror, meanwhile, also profiled O'Brien and detailed O'Neill as saying: "I thought Aiden O’Brien was terrific for a debut. We knew what we’d get in terms of effort from him. He doesn’t always play for Millwall, but when he does, he gives you everything."

The Irish Times' Emmet Malone wrote an article on the attacker, with the 24-year-old stating: "I’ve always been a goalscorer. Whether I play out wide for Millwall, whether I play in behind, whether I play up front, I always sniff out the ball.

“I always know where it is going to drop and I always score goals. Whatever position I play in, if I get a chance, nine times out of 10, I’d back myself to put it in the net and that’s what happened here. I got my one chance and I put it in the back of the net."

O'Brien also told The Irish Sun that he had to fight back the tears on Tuesday night.

"There were a few tears, OK. I had been dreaming of this moment for a long time.

"My family have been too. My nan and grandad are fully Irish and I know they were looking down on me, looking at this game, thinking of their grandson."

The forward also spoke to The Independent and The Mail, whilst Williams told The Irish Sun that he is "proud" of his and Aiden's performances for their country.

"I think if you can play for Millwall, you can play for anyone. It’s not the easiest place to play, if you can thrive under the pressure of playing at Millwall, you can do it anywhere.

"I’m proud of my performance and proud of Aiden. On to the next one. He’s a natural goalscorer. He’s the best finisher at our club. I don’t know how he does it but he gets goals most weeks. Credit to him. I thought he was unbelievable.

"He was fantastic, trying to hold the ball up as much as he could against two centre-halves. I thought he acquitted himself very well, ran his heart for the team and that’s all he can ask for."

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