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The Future - 5 Irish Youngsters to Watch in FMM19

First of all, I am not a writer. I am aware of this, however, with another World Cup-less year for the Boys in Green, the future of Ireland has come under scrutiny. 

While many say that Ireland 'have no upcoming prospects', I disagree, here are 5 Irish prospects that you should watch out for in FMM19.

I will structure this post based on position. I will give you one goalkeeper, one defender, one midfielder and one striker. The 5th player will be a stand-out prospect who trumps all the youngsters before them.

Without further ado, let us begin.

1. Gavin Bazunu (Shamrock Rovers)


Currently not even on the Football Manager database, let alone the mobile version, Gavin has only become Shamrock Rovers' first choice keeper in the last month. The 16 year old has made 3 appearances for Rovers, keeping 3 clean sheets. 

This lad shows huge promise; it was reported that scouts from Liverpool, Norwich and Brighton were at Rovers' 2-0 win against Derry City last Saturday, apparently watching Gavin. Could Gavin become the next Shay Given, or dare I say, better than Ireland's greatest goalkeeper?

He currently is not on the FM database, so I cannot use a reference from the current database.

2. Lee O'Connor (Manchester United)


Lee O'Connor has been impressing at the Manchester United Under-23s for a while now. The 17 year old has established himself as a technically-astute ball-playing defender, which seems unusual for an Irish defender.

He has wonderfully demonstrated his ability to carry the ball forward and play out of defence. This can be seen in this outstanding goal (click underlined for link) against Cruzeiro in the Otten Cup.

In terms of past Irish players, there aren't a lot of ball-playing defenders to compare Lee to. The only past international that he reminds me of is Paul McGrath.

Lee currently is on the FM database, though he is not on the mobile game. He currently has -75 (120-150 random) potential ability on FM.

3. Jake Doyle-Hayes (Aston Villa)



You don't know how much I wanted to put Aaron Bolger here. However, I decided to put Jake here as he has a higher potential on the database and is playing at a higher level.  The Aston Villa man has impressed playing for their underage teams, and earned himself a few EFL Cup appearances earlier this season.

The 19 year old is very like former Ireland captain Roy Keane, in the sense that Jake has great work ethic and always looks for a pass. His passing ability is superb, and is surely able to fix Ireland's playmaking issues.

He currently has -8 (130-160 random) potential ability on the FM database. Jake Doyle-Hayes currently features on both FM and FMM. 

4. Troy Parrott (Spurs)


Ever since Robbie Keane's international retirement, it has been crystal clear that Ireland have lacked something; a natural goalscorer. 

The Under-17 European Championships gave Troy a platform to shine, and shine he did. He scored 3 goals in 4 games at the Euros as the Ireland Under-17s marched on to the quarter finals.

There is only one player that comes to mind when talking about Troy; Robbie Keane. Robbie Keane is Ireland's all time top goalscorer with 68 goals in 146 caps. Could Troy break this huge record? He is certainly young enough to do it.

Troy is currently not on the FM database.

5. Declan Rice (West Ham)


Declan Rice is Ireland's outstanding prospect for the forseeable future. The West Ham man has made incredible progress in the last year and a half. The 19 year old already has Premier League experience under his belt, and 2 caps for Ireland in friendlies against Turkey and USA.

West Ham usually deploy Declan as a centre-back, however, his performances in the centre of midfield for Ireland mean that his international future could be as a midfielder.

When it comes to past Ireland players, Declan reminds me of John Giles or more recently Wes Hoolahan. He is a great playmaker and a ball-winner. He is composed on the ball and very rarely loses the ball. 

He is currently on both FM and FM and, underwhelmingly, has a potential ability of -75 (120-150 random)

Thank you all for reading.

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1 minute ago, Nucleus said:

It’s actually inspired me to think of doing a Welsh one 😮

17 minutes ago, Nucleus said:

Great work mate, hope to see them all in future editions of FMM 😁

Thanks mate, you should do a Welsh one! I would definitely be interested in learning of new talent, as well as the ones we all know of.

6 minutes ago, Foxy said:

Writer or not @ManLikeRobbieBrady this is really interesting and well written😀

The only one here I have any knowledge of is Declen Rice tbh so thanks for bringing the others to my attention.

Great work.

Thanks very much mate. I've never written an article on this site so I thought I'd give it a go. 

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Final Update

With FMM 19 just around the corner, I thought we would look at how the players above have fared since I originally wrote this article.

Gavin Bazunu (Shamrock Rovers)

Ireland's latest sensation is set for the big time. The young Rovers 'keeper has agreed to join Man City after he finishes his education in Ireland. The fee was undisclosed, however, it is thought to be the biggest fee ever received for a League of Ireland player.

Bazunu is on the FMM 19 database according to sortitoutsi.net, with a potential of -85 (140-170 random). To put that into perspective, Tom Davies, Trent AA and Kieran Tierney all had -85 potential on FMM 18. 

Lee O'Connor (Manchester United)

The captain of the Ireland Under-19s surely has a bright future at Old Trafford, well, SI clearly think he does. The technically-adept defender has been given a -8 potential for this year. A bright future awaits 

Jake Doyle Hayes (Aston Villa)

Jake remains as good as ever. He retains his -8 potential from last year. 

Troy Parrott (Tottenham Hotspur)

This lad has been making waves at Spurs, consistently performing for the Spurs Under-19s at the age of only 16! For some reason, I can't find him on sortitoutsi.net, meaning he isn't in the database. This has really confused me as I thought he would be added this time around, seeing as he is 16. @Putzy @Marc Vaughan, could you explain this please? 😂

Nevertheless, I would expect him to get a potential of -85 or even -9, having watched him play for the Ireland under-17s and Ireland under-19s.

Declan Rice (West Ham)

An absolute snake 🐍. The man tells an entire nation, a nation desperate for World Cup success. A nation who hasn't experienced those heights for 16 years and counting, a nation that once boasted talent such as Roy Keane, Shay Given, Damien Duff, Robbie Keane, Paul McGrath, Denis Irwin, he told us that he was dedicated to Ireland. He played for us at every youth level, he even stole 3 senior caps, STOLE them from an actual Irishman. 

"But he could still end up playing for Ireland" you say. Yes, but put it this way, if you have to even THINK about playing for Ireland, then Ireland doesn't want you playing for them. There should be no doubts about playing for us. It's these plastic paddies that are holding us back as a footballing nation.

Declan can go and get about 10-15 caps for England, with Jack Grealish for all I care. 

Thanks for reading.

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@ManLikeRobbieBrady, I hate Roy Keane, Robbie Keane, Dennis Irwin and the rest of those langers as an Arsenal fan, but Declan Rice is a scumbag! I mean he's too bad to be regularly starting and when Vermalaem left to Barca, a vital player for us went off to warm the bench, so I genuinely feel sorry for you! 

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