“We’ll have John Joe onboard.”
Republic of Ireland Under-21 boss Jim Crawford has confirmed that Getafe midfielder John Joe Patrick Finn “wants to play” for the Ireland team.
The 17-year-old is eligible to play for England, Spain and Cameroon, but it appears that the FAI have secured the youngster’s allegiance.
John Joe Patrick Finn.
Finn was born in Madrid and he joined Real Madrid‘s La Fabrica youth academy aged nine. He would go on to play for the likes of CD Canillas, Alcobendas CF and Getafe.
The midfielder has been with Getafe since 2018 and is considered one of the most promising youngsters in Spain’s top flight.
Last December, Finn made history by becoming the youngest debutant in Getafe’s history, when he made his La Liga debut against Levante.
“The manager told me to keep cool, play my game and try and do the best I could,” he told the club’s media team at the time.
❝My mum was so excited she cried!❞
17 year-old star John Joe Patrick Finn talks about becoming Getafe's youngest player in #LaLigaHistory earlier this season… ?????
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) March 17, 2021
“The first thought that came to my mind was of my mum and how happy she must have been at home. Later she told me that she cried because she was so excited.”
England and Spain were said to be keeping tabs on the teenager, but it appears that he has chosen to declare for Ireland, whom he is eligible to play for through his late Mayo-born father.
Finn is also qualified to play for Cameroon, where his mother hails from.
Crawford on John Joe Patrick Finn.
Crawford, speaking in a press conference, stated that Finn “wants to play” for the Irish national side.
“I’ve been speaking to John Joe and his mother numerous times and he certainly wants to play for the Republic of Ireland,” Crawford said.
“Unfortunately, he picked up an injury a couple of days ago and is out for 10 or 12 days. That’s a little bit of disappointment for us and John Joe.
"He certainly wants to play for the the Republic of Ireland" Jim Crawford confirms talks went well with John Joe Patrick Finn, he's been in regular contact with his Mother, but for injury he would've been in the squad, he will be "on board" next time if fit.
press conference ? pic.twitter.com/o13GVOHfkh
— Irish Football Fan TV (@irishfantv) March 19, 2021
“But the most important thing is that John Joe gets himself fit and back playing again. We had a lot of conversations over the last number of weeks and they’ve all been positive.
“I’ve no doubt for the next window, if everything is fine, we’ll have John Joe onboard.”
Crawford further explained that the clear pathway to the first team played a crucial part in convincing the Getafe youngster to join the side.
“I say to players when I am talking to them on the phone, that there’s an opportunity now for players who are performing well at their club,” Crawford continued.
Squad announcement | Jim Crawford names 14 uncapped players as part of a 22-man squad for #IRLU21?? friendly with ??????? next week
— FAIreland ⚽️?? (@FAIreland) March 18, 2021
“I think the pathway to the senior team now is as strong as ever… You have the likes of Jason Knight, Jayson Molumby, Caoimhin (Kelleher), Gavin (Bazunu), it’s there for everyone to see now.
“There is an opportunity that if you are playing well at club level or you come into the U21s and do well, there is that opportunity of a senior call up.”