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26th Aug 2018

Martin O’Neill open to calling on Ireland U17 international Troy Parrott

Jack O'Toole

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has said that he would be open to calling on promising Tottenham forward Troy Parrottt.

Parrott took a major step forward in his burgeoning career last month when he signed his first professional contract with Spurs after impressing with the club’s underage sides.

The 16-year-old starred for Ireland at the UEFA European Under-17 Championship in May and scored three goals in four games for his country before Colin O’Brien’s side were cruelly dumped from the tournament’s quarter-final stages after a 5-4 penalty shootout loss against the Netherlands in Chesterfield.

The Dubliner has been touted as one of the city’s best prospects in sometime and O’Neill revealed that he’s already on the radar for the senior team.

“Pat Jennings [O’Neill’s former Northern Ireland team-mate] was telling me Troy does come up occasionally and train with the first team and they’ve all been pretty impressed with his attitude,” O’Neill told RTÉ Sport’s Tony O’Donoghue.

“If someone 16, 17, 18 years of age, who you feel is absolutely ready and is good enough and if you’re choices are limited, and he’s making great progress, I would see no problem in [calling him up].

“I just think there is a little time for development and I don’t think, unless it’s a League Cup game, that Troy will be involved with Tottenham at senior level for the foreseeable future.

“But it’d be nice to know that he thinks there is a chance of that happening and, more importantly, that the coaching staff think there’s a chance of that happening.

“If you’re to listen to Pat, he’s really well thought of. It’s great to see. I wouldn’t be averse to [taking a punt on Parrott]. He might just need a wee bit more honing at this moment.”

Belvedere F.C. Director of Football Affairs Vincent Butler hailed Parrott as ‘the best prospect’ to come out of the capital since Ireland’s all-time leading goalscorer Robbie Keane.

“I think he realised himself that he had good potential and that he should knuckle down and work on it,” said Butler, who has been involved with Belvedere and inner city football in Dublin since 1960.

“He has done that to be fair. He’s very well liked over in Spurs, people that deal with him over there are very pleased with him, they like him and they want him to do well.

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“But you just don’t know in football what can happen but in my opinion he is probably the best prospect around for a number of years. I’d say since Robbie Keane perhaps.

“It’s hard to say. I wouldn’t like to put him up too high on a pedestal because sometimes it doesn’t work out. They can be affected by it and anything can happen. There’s injury, expectation, but we’d be quietly confident that he’ll succeed.”

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