Youth watch Smallbone, Coventry and O’Shea

Even though Stephen Kenny’s initial few games in charge have been a mixed bag, the performances have improved but the results and lack of goals are too familiar failings of previous managers. His strategy of including young talent in the side has got many fans excited though. His time as manager of the Under 21s has given him a good look at the future talent available. And in the squads Kenny has picked so far he hasn’t been afraid to promote some of those players. So far, Aaron Connolly, Adam Idah, Troy Parrott, Dara O’Shea and Jayson Molumby have all made the jump up a level to the seniors.

There are plenty of Ireland’s younger generation playing in England, hoping their club form will be good enough for the ever-watching Kenny. If a few of them prove their mettle in the English top flight, it would be like a jackpot win like Spin Online Casino, for the players to regularly make the Irish senior side.

West Ham’s Conor Coventry

Coventry spent last season on loan at Lincoln, however, the 20 year old has featured regularly in the preseason games, as part of David Moyes’ team. He played right back in West Ham’s emphatic 4-1 victory over Ipswich. He came off the bench playing his favourite central midfield role, and helped the team in a 2-1 victory over Brentford. Regardless of the stiff competition from the likes of Mark Noble and Declan Rice in the midfield. Coventry has shown willingness to play out of position and in the modern world player versatility is a highly valued trait. This season he has been an ever present for West Ham’s under 21s and has added goals to his game too.

Southampton’s Will Smallbone

The global crisis in 2020 brought an immediate halt to Smallbone’s phenomenal rise at Southampton. Having been a part of the club since he was eight years old, Smallbone was handed a fresh four-year contract in June this year. He played nine times last season and has played two games this season. Ralph Hassenhuttl is a big admirer of the Irish central midfielder, describing him as the future of the club.

West Brom’s Dara O’Shea

Another product of the famous St Kevins’ Boys Academy, the Dubliner has been very  impressive for West Brom. Not long ago, the 21 year old was at Hereford, playing on loan in the English football’s seventh tier. He’s was instrumental for the Baggies’ promotion to the Premier League. Slavan Bilic too heaped praises on the youngster, calling him both the present as well as the future of the team. Kenny drafted O’Shea into the squad due to all the covid withdrawls and he made his debut in 1-0 loss to Finland last week, O’Shea was one of the stand out performers and it would be expected that he will be part of the first team squads going forward.

Words Jay Kabiru

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