Young winger Cian Hayes spoke to the press on Thursday afternoon after returning from international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under-19s, where he shone in the three games that were played.
Hayes met up with the Ireland set up shortly after the Doncaster Rovers game in late March and trained until their first game, which was against England at the Banks’s Stadium in Walsall. The 18-year-old did well after coming off the bench as he laid the ball off to James Abankwah for their only goal of the game three minutes after being subbed on.
It all progressed from there for Cian as he started their next clash against Portugal at St. George’s Park in Burton, where he almost found the back of the net before being subbed off for Glory Nzingo in the 82nd minute. Things all rounded up to the last game against Armenia at the end of the break as the young winger started up top and not only scored one but assisted two more in the 4-0 win.
Here’s what Cian had to say in his interview:
On his time with Ireland…
“It was a great experience, I loved it; it was an unbelievable feeling to play for my country and get a goal as well. I was buzzing when the ball hit the back of the net, I sprinted over to the corner and did a knee slide with the lads. My parents were there for all the games, and I spoke to them after every game, but I didn’t celebrate with them as they were down the other end – it would have been a fair long run!
“It was great being out there with the squad, it’s full of good young players who worked well with each other. The experiences I’ve had whilst with the first-team, and with FC United [of Manchester] on loan have helped me massively, not just with my playing ability but also with the physicality of the game. These skills helped push me on and allowed me to progress whilst with Ireland.
“When I was with the Ireland squad, you had to get used to how everyone else wanted to play so it allowed me to learn other play styles and it just made me think of what I could do to make the team better and I feel that it worked really well on this camp.”
On his time in the first-team at Fleetwood…
“I’ve loved it being in the first-team, it’s great to know that you are in people’s minds and they want you to play, it just allows you to do what you want to do and enjoy yourself whilst playing football. You don’t worry as much if you do mess up as it gives you a bit of security, which has been great.
“It’s been a mixture of bad luck and bad timing [regarding recent results]; we’ve run into a few decent bigger teams and have been unlucky with certain decisions and how things have dropped. I feel like we’ve dealt with things well at times and we could have handled things a bit better at times, it’s just about doing what we are doing as we have enough quality to be able to pull out wins.
“We just need to keep playing the way we are as when people come to watch us, they can see we are playing good football and doing the right things, it’s just about the final touch maybe with a finish up top, or a clearance at the back, we just need something to go for us.”
On playing with the players he came through the Academy with…
“Crainzo [Stephen Crainey] has been unbelievable bringing all the young boys in and giving us the opportunities because I do feel that, even though we are younger than the experienced players, we’ve still got more than enough ability to push the play forwards and give different options.
“I’ve played with a lot of the lads for years which means we all know each other very well as we are so close as a group. We all just want to keep the club up and will do whatever we can to help the team achieve its goals. We’ve had a few conversations about how to approach the rest of the season, but most of the chatter has been in the changing rooms – we know what we need to do to ensure we stay in a safe position.”