By Harvey Byrne
Limerick Under-19s boss Tommy Barrett was full of praise for young starlet Paudie O’Connor in 2015 – and just under two years later he is set for a big move to Leeds.
Limerick’s first team manager Martin Russell told the Irish Mirror on Tuesday that the top flight side had accepted the Yorkshire giants’ offer for the centre-back and that personal terms had now been agreed.
The young star was one of the Irish club’s biggest prospects and one fan was academy manager Barrett.
The Under-19s coach identified his talents when he was 17 years old and hailed him as a “leader”, “a proper centre-back”, while also being the difference maker at his young age.
“Paudie does make a difference. Clyde (O’Connell) and Evan (O’Connor) did very well against Waterford, but he’s a leader,” told Barrett, as quoted by the official Limerick website.
“He’s a proper centre-back and he has got that bit of experience going for him as well. He does make a big difference to us.”
Leeds fans will be excited by this reference, but it is likely the 19-year-old will start off with Jason Blunt’s Under-23s at the club.
The Yorkshire giants are currently strong in the centre-back department with Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson securing the first team spots, while Liam Cooper waits in reserve.
However, given that Leeds have history of bringing through defenders such as Jonathan Woodgate, Matthew Kilgallon and Tom Lees fans will be hoping O’Connor can be the next name to come through.