Ryan Brobbel enjoyed Northern Ireland duty

Ryan Brobbel
Ryan Brobbel

RYAN Brobbel did not let two defeats hinder the quality of the experience gained on Northern Ireland U21 duty.

Hartlepool-born Brobbel made his third and fourth U21 appearance in the green jersey in the past week, playing against Belgium and away to Serbia.

Although the Belgians were 1-0 victors and Serbia 3-1 winners, Steve Robinson’s side did not produce inadequate displays, despite the losses leaving them languishing at the bottom of the 2015 European U21 Championship group 9.

Indeed, Brobbel took away the lessons learned and was optimistic when reflecting with SportMail: “It was good experience against two good teams but not so good that we lost both games,” he said.

“Belgium had players who play in French Ligue 1 and then there’s me and others playing in League Two so we were playing against some top quality.

“I think we could have avoided the Serbia defeat, it was a lackadaisical 10 minutes in which we conceded three goals but these things happen in football.

“We were the better team against Serbia I’d say, but Belgium deserved their win, they grounded it out.”

Qualifying for the Ulstermen via his grandmother, the York City loan star started both games on the left wing.

Against group favourites Belgium Brobbel rarely had the opportunity to express himself but did so against the Serbs.

He went on: “I thought I played well in both games, but more so against Serbia.

“It was weird playing in Serbia because they aren’t allowed fans because of what happened in the U21 game against England last year.

“So it was like a training match where you could hear everyone but with a lot more importance.”

Brobbel’s next international involvement will be next month when the Northern Irish travel to Italy for their fifth qualifying game on November 14.