Walker set for Irish U19 debut thanks to Carey

FORMER Cork City and Republic of Ireland player Brian Carey is still doing his duty for his country by enlisting one of his talented youngsters at Wrexham into the international fold.

Warrington-born full-back Declan Walker, 18, has turned down offers to represent England and Wales in favour of Ireland and is due to make his debut on Monday at U19 level against Ukraine in Dublin.

Togher native Carey, now 44, was famously snapped up by Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson following his display in Cork City’s 1989 FAI Cup defeat to Derry City.

While opportunities of a breakthrough at Old Trafford were scarce, he flourished at Leicester City between 1993 and 1996 when he also earned his three senior Ireland caps under Jack Charlton.

The centre-half has been with Wrexham since, a 15-year association which includes spells as player, boss and now manager Dean Saunders’ right-hand man.

Carey last night explained what prompted him to tip off the FAI about the rising first-team star of their Blue Square Premier team.

He said: “As an Irishman myself, knowing of Declan’s family background and realising that he was pushing on well with his football development at Wrexham, I made a few calls to alert the coaches back home.

“He’s a really committed player, who loves to get forward from his favoured full-back position and is certainly not afraid to have a shot at goal.

“I know he’s very proud of his Irish connections and he could be one who is well worth keeping an eye on as his career grows.”

The Irish U19 squad also features debutant Liam Irwin, son of former Manchester United and Ireland great Denis.

The teenage midfielder is on the books of Bolton Wanderers and has already featured for the Trotters’ reserve side.

Ireland will play Ukraine in the first of the double-header on Monday at Morton Stadium in Santry (7.30pm) and again two days later at Tolka Rovers FC (1pm).

IRELAND U19 SQUAD: S McDermott (Arsenal), A McCarey (Wolves), D Walker (Wrexham), J Egan (Sunderland), J Shaughnessy (Aberdeen), A O’Connor (Blackburn Rovers), S McGinty (Manchester Utd), D Williams (Aston Villa), C McHugh (Reading), D Horgan (Salthill Devon), S Byrne (Leicester City), S McDonnell (Dundalk), J Hendrick (Derby County), L Irwin (Bolton Wanderers), C Walsh (Shamrock Rovers), S Folan (Newcastle Utd), P McEleney (Derry City), R Brady (Manchester Utd), M Rafter (Colchester Utd), R Connolly (Derby County).

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