ARDFIELD teenager John O’Donovan has been named in the Republic of Ireland Schools squad for the Centenary Shield (U18 schoolboys) tournament.
Over the next few weeks, starting this Thursday (17th) at home to Scotland, the young Boys in Green will also take on Northern Ireland in Buncrana before away trips to England and Wales.
This is another exciting step in O’Donovan’s development as the 18-year-old defender, who plays with Cork City U19s, will test himself against the top young players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The former Ardfield FC star impressed at trials as the 64 players that took part in the FAI Schools Interprovincial Tournament last December were cut to 30 players and then further trimmed to 18 for the opening game against Scotland, and O’Donovan made the final selection.
The Clonakilty Community College Leaving Cert student caught the eye in his West Cork Schoolboys League days with Ardfield and at the 2018 Kennedy Cup the West Cork Schoolboys’ League management team selected O’Donovan as their Player of the Tournament. The highly-rated left back signed for Cork City U17s in 2019, after a short spell at College Corinthians. He was one of three West Cork rising soccer stars, along with Caheragh winger Liam Murray and Dunmanway goalkeeper Aaron Mannix, who helped City U17s win the National League of Ireland U17 Mark Farren Cup last season.
The Republic of Ireland’s opening Centenary Shield game against Scotland takes place at Home Farm FC, Dublin 9, this Thursday evening (17th), 7pm kick-off.