Rising Irish Football Star - Stephen Coghlan
I receive many weird and wonderful emails
via this website. I've had emails from people as far away as Brazil, Nigeria
and Malaysia, amongst others, from young people asking can I get them
a professional football contract with an Irish football club. They don't
care which club, and indeed in most cases they don't even know the names
of any Irish soccer clubs. I also get many emails from sports gear manufacturers
in Pakistan, India and the Far East trying to flog their wares to me.
Then there's the one's from people that want to come to Ireland to live
and wonder could I help them with the immigration process (!) - and if
it helped their cause they would take up playing soccer. After a while
I decided to just ignore the obviously whacky ones and to only respond
to the one's that seemed somewhat on the level.
When Dean Van Nguyen contacted me with
the following magazine my 'whacky' alert was flashing yellow:
|"I am a journalist
with the Dubliner magazine, and I'm working on an article about Dublin's
best football prospects aged 13-15. I'm hoping someone from yourselves
can point me towards some of the kids playing in the Dublin leagues
who might fit this profile."
to do it a third time because if he had missed
(and I have absolutely no reason to believe that he might have) it would
have ruined the aesthetic of the moment.
I'd heard of the Dubliner magazine
but I knew nothing about it and I certainly didn't know Dean. Following
a bit of investigation I discovered that Dean was indeed a serious
journalist and that his request was genuine. My son David was with
United Under 15 team at the time and he loves football in all
its' facets. One of his best friends, Stephen Coghlan, just happens
to play for the Republic of Ireland under 14's so, purely through
coincidence, I was in a position to recommend that Dean talk to
Stephen - with the prior approval of Stephen's parents of course.
With the kind permission of the Dubliner
and Dean Van Nguyen I have reproduced Dean's article below. The
reference to Stephen's ability to, apparently, hit the cross bar
with a football at will is 100% accurate. For me the most amazing
thing about this little cameo was the seemingly languid style with
which Stephen stroked the ball with his left foot as he hit the
cross bar on demand. I was glad I didn't ask him
- 23 April 2010
Dubliner / Dean Van Nguyen Article about
lines up on the left side of defence for a practice match with his
teammates at Cherry
Orchard Football Club. The bad weather has not permitted a competitive
game in almost two months, but the team keeps fit by training on
the AstroTurf pitches near Liffey Valley Shopping Centre. Every
player is itching for the thrill of competition, and they attack
this friendly game with all the vigour of a cup final. The ball
bobbles around the synthetic pitch as players pursue it wildly,
crunching into each other to gain a couple of yards advantage.
Stephen finally gets his break and, in view of an oncoming opponent,
calmly drops his shoulder before shifting the ball onto his opposite
foot and gliding away into space. He then neatly releases the ball
to a teammate. Im not big into the slide tackles, but
I can do the simple things, Stephen told me earlier. You
can depend on me. Hes being modest.
quality like this raise a smile from the onlooking coaches and would
surely catch the eye of a scout. John Hogan, founder of soccer-ireland.com,
remembers the first time he saw Stephen strike a ball: We
were walking towards a set of goalposts and without breaking stride,
he drops the ball and hits the crossbar. I said, Do it again,
and as the ball came back to him he just met it and hit it again.
With his kind of skill, he could go places, and it wont be
for a want of dedication or commitment.
just turned 15 years old, is considered one of Irelands most
promising football prospects. He was selected for the FAIs
Emerging Talent Programme, which helps develop the best youth players
in the country through weekly training sessions with qualified FAI
started playing for his local team, Knocklyon United, at just
six years of age. At ten, he was poached by Cherry Orchard,
which has produced international-level footballers like Andy
Reid and Glenn Whelan. After [Knocklyon] played against
Cherry Orchard, their manager followed us home, Stephen
tells us. He asked my Dad could I join them. It was kind
of difficult for me to leave Knocklyon but I thought I could
improve and win more trophies if I went to Cherry Orchard.
move, Stephen has won trophies consistently each year. Hes
now at the age where being picked up by an English club is a possibility.
My ambition is to get over to England and just keep improving.
isn't so sure. Its up to him, but I wouldn't like to
see him go over at 16. I've seen so many kids go at that age and
theyre brilliant players and still dont make it. Nowadays,
we see players from the League
of Ireland and theyre 19 or 20, even 21 or 22, and theyre
starting to make it over there. Id prefer if he did that.
athlete, there was a time when Gaelic might have been Stephens
true calling. He had to give up Gaelic because its either
one or the other, says Eamon. You cant go twice a week
training for Gaelic and twice a week training for soccer. Plus,
a football match on a Saturday morning and a Gaelic match on a Saturday
afternoon would be too much.
This article was reproduced with the kind
permission of the Dubliner Magazine and the article's author Dean Van
Nguyen. Dean is a writer / editor that specialises in pop culture, media,
sport, arts, fashion, and culture. He is also the founder and editor of
popular culture print magazine, One
More Robot. To read more please visit the Dean
Van Nguyen Blog.
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