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Seamus Coleman confident in Ireland's young guns

Seamus Coleman will miss out on the upcoming Euro 2024 double header. (Peter Byrne/PA)
Seamus Coleman will miss out on the upcoming Euro 2024 double header. (Peter Byrne/PA) Seamus Coleman will miss out on the upcoming Euro 2024 double header. (Peter Byrne/PA)

"He’s got that steely determination. You can just see it. That’s hard to explain but you can see it."

Actions speak louder than words. Confirmation if you ever needed it from Seamus Coleman. The Everton defender knows a thing or two about judgement. He is all too aware of the generational talent that is Evan Ferguson.

"First and foremost, you know me by now, I see the person who comes into the camp first, wondering how are they, are they humble or getting carried away with themselves.

"I have to say that Evan is so level headed and focussed. That’s great to see because you have no fears of him scoring 15 or 20 Premier League goals and then taking his eye off the ball.

"Without putting too much pressure on him, he’s such a talented lad."

There is little Coleman can say that hasn't already been said. The English have already come calling, the ultimate backhanded compliment. A teenager with the world at his feet, trying to keep his imposing frame out of the clouds.

Not only is a teenager from Bettystown one of the most envied young talents on the globe, he also carries the weight of a nation on his shoulders. The Ireland skipper, who will miss the upcoming Euro 2024 qualifiers against France and the Netherlands, plays a key role in trying to ease those pressures.

Coleman is ever the optimist when it comes to this Irish team, but he firmly believes the Brighton prodigy is among a talented young crop coming through in green.

"In the Premier League now, Evan of course is the standout one, Nathan (Collins) got a move back to the Premier League, Josh Cullen, a player I really admire, is a Premier League player now, so I do think the quality of player coming through is good.

“But I think the quality coming through needs to understand as well the pressure and expectancy at international level, what the fans expect of us. I know we’ve not done it much and I’ve only done it once, but the feel of the group is you want to qualify for tournaments.

"This group coming through definitely have the potential to do that but at the minute, with a lot of young players, it’s potential and they need to keep working hard and driving hard to really understand the international set-up and scene."

Stephen Kenny's charges have made that prospect a little more difficult than they would like, with defeat to Greece in the last international window leaving a win in Paris or against the Dutch crucial.

Coleman, naturally enough, feels the Netherlands match in the Aviva is one Ireland should target for victory.

"Obviously the Greece game, we could have come out of there with something and we didn’t which we’ve got to deal with. You’ve got to be realistic as well, you’ve got to understand that France are one of the best teams in the world.

"Going away there is not going to be easy. It would be great to get something out there of course.

"I think we showed enough at home that we were competitive against them but you’ve got to be really attacking the Holland game for sure. We need to get a win there I’d imagine."

Ireland meet France in the Parc des Princes on September 7, with the Dutch coming to Dublin on September 10.

Seamus Coleman, Republic of Ireland captain and father of three, was speaking as he launched SPAR’s Better Choices Back to School campaign, which aims to give a helping hand to the next generation when it comes to learning about healthy food and healthy lifestyles.

The SPAR Better Choices Little Chefs’ recipes can be found on www.spar.ie , with details of how to enter the competition on SPAR’s Facebook page @SPARIreland  and Instagram page @SPAR_Ireland