Highly rated Arsenal prospect Dan Crowley is reportedly set to switch his allegiances and play international football for Ireland. Here's everything you need to know about the talented 18 year old.
How does Dan Crowley qualify for Ireland?
Dan Crowley's grandparents hail from Co. Waterford and according to his youth GAA coach he is very much an Irishman. He's certainly surrounded by Irish culture.
His grandparents are from Waterford and his parents are involved in the Irish community in Coventry. His Father still plays football for St Finbarrs in Coventry. He visits his folks in Waterford regularly. He is a well-grounded lad who loves his family and spends as much time with them as he can.
He is also well able to handle the hurley. He didn't want to stop playing but it was the sensible thing to do.
Dan Crowley's International Career
Dan Crowley has actually played for Ireland already. He has 2 appearances for the under 17 side. Previous to that he played for England at under 17 and under 16 level but we'll forgive him for that; nobody's perfect.
Dan Crowley's Club Career
Crowley was part of the Aston Villa academy before joining Arsenal and earning his first professional contract. Take a look at this peach of a free kick that he scored for them as a 17 year old against West Brom U21's.
He didn't make a senior appearance for the first team at Arsenal before being loaned out to League One side Barnsley at the beginning of this season. He quickly scored his first senior goal; a composed finish from inside the box in a thrilling 3 - 5 extra time loss to Everton in the League Cup. Crowley has already made 6 appearances for The Tykes and will no doubt go on to make plenty more appearances over the course of the season.
Praise for Dan Crowley
Arsenal's official website describes Dan Crowley as an "influential playmaker", a "dead-ball specialist" and points out that he has "made a name for himself with clever footwork and intricate passes".
Arsenal club captain Mikel Arteta also had high praise for young Dan Crowley.
he [Crowley] is also gaining maturity and if he keeps doing that then he can be a very good player. He’s at the right club with the right people around him to guide him and to become a very important player. He’s definitely got the talent, and if you put that together with mental strength and the willingness to hard work, then you’ve got a great chance.
When you're impressing the likes of Arteta then you know you're doing something right!
Hopefully we'll be seeing him in an Ireland shirt sooner rather than later. Even if it's just for the Under 21's to begin with.