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14-Year-Old Goalkeeper Makes First Team Debut In Irish League Clash

Most 14-year-old academy players can only dream of ascending to the first team at their respective clubs some day. However, on Monday night that dream became a reality for Northern Irish teenager Conner Byrne. 

With Glenavon deciding to field a team made up of current and ex-academy players against Portadown in their Mid-Ulster Cup semi-final clash, it was Byrne’s opportunity to shine.

With the Armagh club going on to win the game 2-1, this is surely an experience which will stand to such a young player as he develops his game further.

And as recognition of just how far he’s come in such a short space of time, the youngster was also recently named in the Northern Ireland under-16 side for their clash with Poland.

Ryan Prentice, the head of Glenavon’s academy, was extremely impressed by the stopper’s progress and lavished praise upon the teenager whilst speaking to BBC Sport.

“He’s tall, brave and dedicated to training and works very hard with the coaches.

“The physical side has to be managed, but the flip-side is that the game is not as physical as it maybe was 20 or 30 years ago, when goalkeepers got clattered.

“He’s also marshalled by experienced players who will look after him.”

The future certainly seems bright for the young star and making his first team debut at 14 can surely only be an indication of what he will go on to achieve in the future.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.