Ireland rugby captain Paul O’Connell says he’s looking forward to visiting Parkhead to see his cousin Eoghan O’Connell line out for Celtic.
Ballinlough footballer O’Connell (18) has soared through the ranks under Neil Lennon, appearing on the first-team bench yesterday for the sixth game in a row. The defender is close to making his league debut after Lennon handed him run-outs in the recent Antalya Cup friendlies against Trabzonspor and Galatasaray. And the teen hails from famous sporting stock. His Dad Damien played for Cork City and Cobh Ramblers, while cousin Paul has scaled the heights in rugby. One consolation the Ireland and Munster skipper can foresee from retirement is the window it will provide to watch his younger relative.
“I’m delighted to see Eoghan develop his career at Celtic,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough journey for him at Celtic. We’re hoping he makes it through because I’ll be retiring in about two years and I’ll be able to get over to Glasgow and Parkhead every second weekend to watch him play and bring a gang of the family over.
“I’m not a Celtic fan and I’ve never been to a game. I’m actually an Everton supporter but whenever we play Glasgow over there, Eoghan always comes over to watch our games and I meet up with him. He’s a great lad and it will be nice to go and watch him play.
“I was delighted, absolutely delighted, when he made his debut. I did not see the game but have a recording at home because it was on Eurosport. I am looking forward to getting weekends away in Glasgow watching him. Eoghan is from a GAA family so he would have grown up playing hurling, gaelic football and soccer.”
“He would have grown up watching his dad playing — so it was hurling, gaelic football and soccer all his career. I don’t know if it’s in the genes, but it’s a sporting family. The good thing about it is that Irish kids play so many different sports it probably all helps.”
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