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Hull player of the month Harry Vaughan emerges as Ireland prospect


Harry Vaughan has been named as Hull City’s Player of the Month.

He’s small, he’s tidy, he’s clever, and you know what that means? He has enough “guile” to please a retired RTE panellist, baby.

Hull City playmaker Harry Vaughan is only 19 years of age but earlier this week he was named as the Tigers Player of the Month for April.

The Ireland under-19 international joined Hull from “crazy” non-leaguers Oldham in January and quickly accelerated into the Championship side’s first team picture well ahead of schedule.

Given that Vaughan rarely started in the National League – presumably because of his small physical standing and/or the fact he had five managers in the space of eight months – he was initially announced as a Hull academy signing. One for the future, rather than a first team addition.

However, by impressing manager Liam Rosenior in training, Vaughan finished the second half of the season with five Hull appearances under his belt – compared to just four Oldham appearances between August and January 31st.

In those five Championship starts, Vaughan operated on the left-hand side of a 4-2-3-1 formation where his silky contributions and hard work off the ball earned him two Player of the Match awards.

Ireland underage experts wouldn’t be totally surprised by his technical ability to affect games in the second tier of English football, but the way he has met the league’s physical and defensive demands has been especially encouraging.

You’re a wizard Harry

Against a physical Luton side on the last day of the season, Vaughan won seven ground duels, completed three tackles and was awarded three free-kicks.

It wouldn’t be unusual for young fringe players to be included in mid-table Championship teams for a couple of matches at the tail end of the season, but Vaughan’s valiant efforts to track back down the left touchline earned him enough credit to start a fairly significant five consecutive games.

And with plenty of confidence taken from those encounters, the Trafford-born creator is looking ahead to next season with eager anticipation.

“I am ready,” Vaughan told HullLive when asked about the pre-season ahead. “Whatever he [Liam Rosenior] brings up, whatever runs he wants me to do, no matter what.

“I’ll be working before pre-season as well,” he continued, “maybe a week’s rest but I’ll be doing my own stuff to make sure I’m ready.”

“I’m only 19 and still learning. There’s so much more I can do and learn from better players who come in [during the transfer window] and hopefully I can better whoever it is and put my stamp on it.”

Harry Vaughan and Ireland

Vaughan is an important member of the Ireland under-19s set up who brings poise to their approach play from midfield.

He made his debut for Tom Mohan’s side as a 17-year-old when he came on in an international friendly against Sweden in the summer of 2021 but didn’t fully establish himself as a starter until he impressed in a 3-0 friendly win over Iceland a year later.

In the recent European Championship qualifiers, Vaughan started five out of six games but was unable to steer his teammates to the finals as they fell to narrow defeats against Greece and Slovakia.

The question now, however, is where his international career goes from here. Mohan’s men will play friendlies before the next qualification campaign kicks off in November, at which stage Vaughan will hope to be in the Ireland under-21s mix.

In the last Ireland under-21s squad, Jim Crawford selected players from Wolves U21s (Joe Hodge), Brighton U21s (Andrew Moran), Shrewsbury (Killian Phillips), Cork City (Matt Healy) and Shelbourne (Kian Leavy), which, you would think, would give a player getting starts for a Championship team a great chance of being involved next time around.

As Will Smallbone is now over age, Crawford and his coaching staff need to find new creators to help them navigate a tricky group including Italy, Norway and Turkey, and Vaughan could be one man fit to fill his boots.

His eye for a pass, his magnetic control of the football and his aggression to win the ball back when he loses it are ingredients which will only enhance and enrich an already talented team of under-21s players.

The type of qualities, you could say, which might help the team go one better than the 2022 campaign by becoming the first Ireland under-21 team to ever qualify for the European Championship finals.

With a summer of pre-season training, an autumn of under-21s games and a winter of Championship football potentially ahead of him, it is an exciting time to be the 19-year-old.

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