Preston North End skipper delighted to make his mark on the international stage with Republic of Ireland

Preston North End skipper Alan Browne was delighted to make an impact off the bench and score the Republic of Ireland’s equaliser against Belgium.

By Dave Seddon
Monday, 28th March 2022, 8:00 am

Browne came on as a 76th minute substitute in Saturday night’s Dublin friendly and found the net within nine minutes of coming on to earn his side a 2-2 draw.

It was his third goal for Ireland on a night he won his 18th senior international cap.

The 26-yeard-old met a cross from Chiedozie Ogbene, climbing above the Belgium defence to head home from eight yards.

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Preston North End skipper Alan Browne celebrates scoring for the Republic of Ireland against Belgium at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin

Browne said: “I just wanted to come on and make an impact. I was given instructions to get us forward, not just sit out for a 2-1 loss – that wasn’t the mentality.

"For the goal I got myself in a good area and the cross was inch-perfect.”

Browne had spoken in the build-up to the Aviva Stadium clash of wanting more international opportunities and the goal won’t have done him any harm.

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has tracked Browne’s progress with North End and after the Belgium draw, referenced January’s 2-2 draw with Sheffield United which he was at Deepdale to watch.

Preston North End skipper Alan Browne heads Republic of Ireland's equaliser against Belgium at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin

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Kenny said: “Alan scored a brilliant goal against Serbia this time last year for us, in the same international window.

"He’s just been unfortunate that there was a Covid issue which ruled him out and the injury to his hip which was a difficult one for Alan.

"I think Alan has been in great form for Preston, there was a game against Sheffield United which I wanted a few weeks back.

"Preston were 2-0 down, were down to 10 men. Alan scored to get them back into the game and then made the equaliser. He almost got a third goal running through from midfield.

"That was an inspirational performance. I’ve seen Alan play and he’s been in good form.

"He can play in more than one position which is useful.”

Browne could well start for the Irish against Lithuania tomorrow night in Dublin, that another friendly.

He is due back at Euxton on Thursday to re-join his North End team-mates ahead of the Championship visit to Derby County on Saturday.