Football

18-Year Old Irish Defender Is Making Waves At Newcastle United

18-Year Old Irish Defender Is Making Waves At Newcastle United

With Stephen Kenny' U21 side playing some exhilarating football, and out U17 and U19 sides impressing in recent months, the future of Irish football is looking bright.

There are a number of highly touted prospects at those various age levels, with the likes of Jayson Molumby, Troy Parrott, Joe Hodge, and Armstrong Oko-Flex all viewed as fantastic prospects.

This lad is another one to keep an eye out for.

18-year old Cavan man Oisin McEntee moved to Newcastle United in 2017, and has gone from strength to strength. He split time between the club's U18 and U23 sides last season, scoring on his debut in PL2 against West Brom.

After being part of the Ireland U19 squad for the Euros this past summer, McEntee has established himself in the U23 side this season. He also captained the Irish U19s in a recent game against Denmark.

After splitting time between Gaelic football and soccer when he was younger, he admitted to The Chronicle that the decision to give up on the sport to pursue professional football was not an easy one:

When I was U8s and U10s, I would have played soccer to just keep me fit over the winter.

It was hard for me leaving Gaelic, because he was the manager and all the kids parents were asking ‘why is he not playing’ if I had a big soccer game on.

My school [Patrician High School in Carrickmacross] was a big Gaelic school so I had to play a lot there.

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Mick Martin was the man who scouted McEntee. He kept an eye on him while he was still in Ireland, and was the one that recommended him to Newcastle.

He told The Chronicle is thrilled with the steps the player has taken in recent months:

I have watched him for the last three or four years. I've watched him from around 16 to him getting into the Under-23s with United.

I watched him up until my role was no longer required (with the FAI) until last January. The reports I sent back on Oisin were pretty good.

I knew the coaching staff were keen on him and liked him. But he's not yet the end product.

He has bits and pieces that need to be addressed. He's got to do that himself and the only way he'll learn that is by playing games.

Oisin is a big 6ft 3in centre-half and his positioning is good. He likes to bring the ball out of defence...

He could have a future in the game but has a long way to go and fair bit to learn. But I liked what I saw.

He's a good lad from a good family and I hope things go well for him.

Sounds like the type of player we could with more of. He's definitely one to keep an eye on.

SEE ALSO: Irish Player Ratings: Cullen, Molumby & Westwood Tear It Up In Championship

Gary Connaughton

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