Trio of Call Ups Reflects Well On Imps

The Imps have had three players called up to represent their country, something that reflects well on the players, and the club.

Sean Roughan has been called up to Ireland Under 21s, and it’s clear to see why. This season, he’s been one of the standout performers, and he’s still only 19. He’s looked comfortable at left-back and in the middle of defence, and his career trajectory seems to only be heading in one direction. When you imagine 12 months ago he couldn’t get a kick, and was even taken off in his only appearances against Bowers and Pitsea, I think it’s a credit to him and the club where he is right now. When Saturday’s team was announced, it was widely accepted as our strongest XI, and he was in it. He’ll be missed when he does go away, but it also puts him in the shop window. With Sean, given how long he’s been with us now, any exposure is good – he’s had trials with Chelsea and Southampton and the dream is to move him on for that magic £1m, which you never know, could happen. I’m not trying to sell our best players early, but we do have to player trade to stay agile and Sean has come in from the cold and gone right to the top of the prospect list.

Oisin Gallagher is further down that list, we’ve seen little of him in an Imps shirt, but he’s also been called up to represent his country. You’ll remember Oisin is the player we had to approach FIFA to sign, given that he technically played outside the UK, for a club on UK soil. It was all complicated, and since he arrived he has been progressing nicely, but out of the sight of paying fans. He’s been on loan at Barwell, getting game time as well, and he’s been called up to Ireland’s Under 19s. They face Slovakia, Estonia and Greece in their European Qualifiers Elite Group Phase on 18, 25 and 28 March

Gallagher isn’t the only Imp on loan at Barwell – Julian Donnery is there also, and he’s been called up to represent Scotland Under 18s. Donnery is an attacking midfielder, who smashed a second-half hat trick in a youth team game against Burton back in October. Donnery has previously played youth football for Sacramento Republic, De Anza Force, and Fremont Youth SC.

“As well as Sean, Oisin and Julian, we also have other players in younger age groups also representing their national team,” said Jez George, after congratulating the trio. “This international recognition is testament to the hard work of our staff, the commitment of the club to developing home-grown talent and to the qualities of the players themselves.”

It’s a good thing for the club, not only for the player’s development but also for making us more attractive for young players coming into the academy. it’s no secret an academy isn’t just getting a few local lads in these days, we cast the net far and wide, as seen with Sean Roughan, and to tempt players here, they need to see a pathway. Roughan is that example, a youth player now impacting the first team. Not all of them will make it, in fact, maybe only one or two will, but it’s still nice to hear of our young players getting international recognition.

Congratulation to the lads, and any at younger age groups representing their country. In the long term, it can only be good for the club.