Former Imps Trainee Lands Irish Deal

Credit Graham Burrell

Whilst we’ve had a lot of success with recruits from Ireland of late, but one that has slipped through the net is Bobby Deane.

Deane signed for us in July 2020, and his capture felt like a coup at the time. Having represented Ireland at Under 16 level, it felt like he might follow Sean Roughan into the first team picture. However, not every deal works out, and despite training with the first team on occasion, Deane departed the club at the end of his two-year stint.

It’s a shame that we never find out when a young player has departed, but I understand why it isn’t news. These young men often have their dreams shattered when they’re released by a club like us, and it would be unfair to make that headline news at the same time. It was the same when another big hope, Nathan Odokonyero left the club – we didn’t hear about it; it’s just clear the following season, they were not with us anymore.

Thankfully, Bobby Deane seems to have found himself a club and a future in the game. He’s 19 now and has just secured a deal with Irish top-flight side Glenavon, managed by Gary Hamilton. He’s delighted with his capture, who arrives at the club after a spell with Coleraine.

“He’s a big, strong boy who is technically very good,” he told News Letter. “He was at Lincoln City when he turned 16, but unfortunately for him, Covid held him back, and he’s had a difficult time. Bobby spent pre-season at Coleraine, but Oran Kearney felt it would be more beneficial for him to play men’s football rather than U20s as they had just signed Jarvis from Larne.”

It seems he’s impressed enough to give himself a shot in the game, despite his Imps disappointment.

“He’s had a really good season at Dergview, and by all accounts, he’s been tipped as one of the best prospects in the league. “We’ve had him watched by people that I trust, and we’ve brought him up, and he’s trained with us, so we’ve seen him with our own eyes.”

He could be pitched into immediate European action, of sorts. Glenavon faces Glentoran in the NIFL playoff tonight, with Cliftonville or Coleriane waiting in the final this weekend. The winner will secure a place in the Europa Conference League, where they could potentially meet Brighton or Spurs. It would be quite a journey for the youngster if he were to feature.