Doncaster Rovers: Kieran Sadlier on a year at the Keepmoat, form and Republic of Ireland aspirations
Not many players celebrate the anniversary of their first year at a club in November but Kieran Sadlier is approaching such a milestone with Doncaster Rovers.
The forward arrived at the Keepmoat a year ago, agreeing terms with Rovers following a taxing full summer season with Cork City before signing in early December.
Though his first few months brought sporadic appearances as a full campaign followed by only a fortnight’s break took its toll but he soon began to show his quality, suggesting he would have a major part to play this season.
Fully settled to life at the club and the town, Sadlier has indeed emerged as one of Rovers’ most important players.
“I love it here,” he said.
“I like living up north. Off the pitch is very good too.
“I think I’m improving. I played three years away in Ireland and before that I was in Scotland so I’ve never really played in the league.
“I’m really enjoying it. I’m learning new things which I think is the most important thing and I’m just trying to progress my game.”
After a strong start to the campaign, the 25-year-old has attracted the attention of Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy, who has named him in provisional squads for the last three international breaks.
After representing his country at youth level, Sadlier is determined to break through into the senior set-up – particularly with the Republic on the verge of qualification for Euro 2020.
“I’ve been on stand-by for the last three squads so the main aim is to get into the final squad,” he said.
“I’m fully confident in myself that I can do that, especially after the last year playing over here.
“That’s the main aim and I hope that comes soon.
“There are players in that team that have played in League One. James Collins was in last year when he was with Luton, Ronan Curtis at Portsmouth as well.
“I think it can be done if you're playing to the top of your game.”
The Republic of Ireland will travel to Slovakia for the semi-final stage of their Euro 2020 qualification play-off with a final against either Northern Ireland or Bosnia and Herzegovina.
And Sadlier says the prospect of playing in an international tournament is only driving him harder.
“If we reach the Euros it’s a huge incentive to break into the squad,” he said.
“I want to play to the top of my game any way but the Euros, you can’t really beat that if you make it.
“Hopefully they do it.”
Before attention turns to the international play-offs in March, Sadlier looks set to address his own future with Rovers with his contract set to expire in the summer.
He confirmed talks have been held with the club but he has yet to agree a new deal.
“They’ve spoken to me about a new contract, which I think came out not long ago,” he said.
"I’m talking to them at the moment but nothing has been agreed just yet.”