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15-Year-Old Son Of Former Ireland U21 Player Makes Debut Because He's On School Holidays

15-Year-Old Son Of Former Ireland U21 Player Makes Debut Because He's On School Holidays
By PJ Browne Updated

Exeter pulled off a shock in the League Cup on Tuesday night as they beat Championship side Brentford 1-0 after extra time.

That was a Brentford side featuring Corkman John Egan - one of our 11 Irish players to watch out for in the Championship this season - and Scott Hogan, who was also on that list.

The game was most notable for the debut of a 15-year-old - Ethan Ampadu. The defender started and completed the 120 minutes for Exeter.

Ampadu, a Wales U16 international, is the son of former Ireland U21 player Kwame Ampadu who is currently head coach of Arsenal's U18s.

Ampadu started the game at centre-back and really impressed manager Paul Tisdale who was speaking to the BBC.

The biggest compliment I can give him is that he plays like a 35-year-old.

That's not normally the English way - we like drama, we like spark.

But we don't often encourage and cultivate subtle, classy players, and he's one of those.

Remarkably, the young player was playing, primarily, because he's on school holidays.

Some 15-year-olds cut lawns on their summer holidays, Ampadu is playing professional football.


Tisdale told the player that when the holidays arrived, he should come and train with the League Two side's first team.

He finished school and he came straight in to train with the first team.

I said 'come in when you want and if you want to go on holiday with your family then you go away, but come and do as many days as you can' - well he's been in every day over his school holidays.

It became particularly apparent within three or four weeks that the rest of the squad suddenly had the upmost respect for his ability to play and they treated him like any other first-team player, if not a senior first-team player.

This is not the first time Ampadu has been noticed. Earlier this year, according to the Daily Mail, he piqued the interest of several Premier League clubs, including Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea.

His father, born in Bradford to an Irish mother and Ghanaian father, won four caps for the Ireland U21s. He moved to Dublin shortly after his birth and went to school on the North Circular Road.


As his mother is Welsh, Ethan Ampadu chose to play for the country of her birth.


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