Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has praised Irish midfielder Gavin Kilkenny and suggested he has a “very good chance of being involved this season”.
It comes after the Dubliner was named man of the match and scored against Lyon in a pre-season friendly last weekend. A product of St Kevin's Boys, Kilkenny first joined up with first-team squad earlier this summer for a pre-season training camp in Spain.
Per the Bournemouth Echo, Howe was positive when asked if Kilkenny was in contention for a Premier League debut.
He’s going to be there or thereabouts. We don’t have a big squad so he’s going to be close.
I can’t make any promises to him now, but what I can say is that if he continues along the same way that he’s played in pre-season, then he’ll have a very good chance of being involved this season.
Wilson's low pass finds the young Irishman in space and he finishes superbly in the box! A great moment for him! 👌
19 | 🍒 2-0 ⚪ // #afcb 🍒
— AFC Bournemouth 🍒 (@afcbournemouth) August 3, 2019
Kilkenny's pre-season form had Howe particularly impressed.
"He’ll be really proud I’m sure of what he did on Saturday. He’s carried on really from his form all throughout pre-season, where he’s done very, very well technically.
“He’s done some excellent things with the ball, showed a real game intelligence and took his goal really well.”
The teen is not the only Irish youngster with first-team ambitions. Mark Travers is in contention ahead of this weekend's opener against Sheffield United.