Queens Park Rangers defender Conor Masterson has outlined his plans to break into the Republic of Ireland first-team, after Stephen Kenny’s recent appointment.
Kenny was named Republic of Ireland U21 boss back in 2018 – the same day that Mick McCarthy was unveiled as manager of the senior squad – with Kenny scheduled to replace McCarthy after Euro 2020.
But this summer’s Euros have been cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus, and the Irish FA felt appropriate to install Kenny as the senior manager with immediate effect.
The 48-year-old will look to bring about a new generation of young Irish footballers, and one who’ll be on his radar is QPR’s Masterson.
“It’s definitely an aim of mine,” Masterson told West London Sport when asked about making his senior debut for Ireland.
The 21-year-old has been a prolific member of the Ireland youth teams in the past, and worked with Kenny in the U21 team as recent as this season.
“I know that if I play well for QPR I can put myself in the picture,” Masterson continued. “I know Stephen well. I’ve worked with Stephen and he’s an excellent coach – I know he wants young players to come through and do well.”
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Under Mark Warburton at club-level, Masterson has had to work hard to get his opportunities. He made his debut in the FA Cup against Swansea at the start of the year, and hasn’t looked back since.
He’s a really commanding defender and looks set to have a bright future in West London. Upon return, Masterson will hoping to be fully-fit after a short struggle with injury of late:
“The injury happened during the game against Birmingham. I carried on and at the end of the game it was really sore. In a way it’s the best time to be injured, because there are no games.”
QPR are unbeaten in six in the Championship and looking as though they could yet mount a late surge into the top-six – it’d be a truly undeniable feat for Warburton in his maiden season at QPR.
Of all the young stars that QPR have in their ranks, Masterson is another one who could go on to great things in football. He’s a fine player and one who plays with great experience beyond his age – expect him to be a big feature for QPR in the coming seasons.