Wigan Athletic ace makes 'seamless' step up
Stephen Kenny is hoping Wigan Athletic star Will Keane can take his 'terrific' club form into the national arena - against the best of the best.
Keane is hoping to feature in the friendlies against Belgium - currently rated the world's No.1 side - and Lithuania.
And after 'fitting seamlessly' into the camp, Kenny is expecting big things from the Latics man.
“Will is having the best season of his career, injury having blighted his career," said the Ireland boss.
“He’s fulfilling his potential now, he’s not even playing centre forward and he’s got 20 goals.
"He’s been playing in a variety of roles, centre forward on occasion, and has been terrific."
Kenny has also been impressed with the way Keane has settled in off the field.
“The one thing about Will, if you don’t know him, is that he is essentially a really nice person," he said.
"He’s very laid back, a very nice person. He takes everything in his stride, has fitted seamlessly into the squad.
"We brought him into the squad initially and he didn’t really feature in the first camp, he’s got to come in and see what we’re about, be part of it.
"He got a brief cameo against Portugal but he’s fitted in very well. I think he’s a good team-mate, he works hard, offers himself to the ball.
"He’s a good target, he will take the ball, you can play the ball into him. He’s not lightning quick, but he’s got okay pace.
"He has good vision and awareness of his team-mates and scores headed goals as well, which is a bonus.”
Stockport-born Keane's brother Michael played for Ireland at youth level before winning senior honours for England.
Will has done that in reverse, thanks to an 'incredible' back story Kenny has just become familiar with.
“His life story is amazing, I didn’t really know," said Kenny.
“I learned about it. His dad was orphaned, is in and out of homes here and goes to England.
"He has twins and they both sign for Manchester United, one a centre half, one a centre forward.
"One plays for England at youth level, one plays for Ireland at youth level and then they both switch. It’s an incredible story."