CAHERAGH teenager Liam Murray wasn’t fazed as he shared the pitch with the top young soccer talents from AFC Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord and AZ Alkmaar.
The 14-year-old former Skibbereen AFC player, who now lines out with College Corinthians’ U14s in the city, made his first appearance for Ireland when the FAI Emerging Talent Programme’s 2005 National Academy took on The Netherlands National Academy in Dublin last week. It was a chance for Liam to show what he can do and he played on the left side of midfield in the second of two games against the Dutch team. The visitors won 2-1.
While the FAI team was made up of home-based players from around the country, The Netherlands included rising young stars like Ajax striker Julian Rijkhoff who is already tipped for a big future.
For Liam this was another major step in the right direction. He came up through the ranks at Skibbereen AFC before moving to College Corinthians two seasons ago. He plays up front or as a number ten for their U14s. Liam will also be part of the Cork Schoolboys League squad for the Kennedy Cup tournament at UL this year.
The Skibbereen Community School first-year student spent the week in Dublin with the FAI National Academy for the two games against The Netherlands, which was a fantastic experience.
He is the youngest of three brothers with Killian on the Drinagh Rangers team that lost the Beamish Cup final to Togher Celtic last weekend while Dylan also played for Lakewood in the past. Both Killian and Dylan now play football with Tadhg MacCarthaigh.
Liam, who has come through the FAI Emerging Talent Programme, will now go forward and try to impress and earn a call-up to the Republic of Ireland U15 squad.