Many Irish underage jerseys adorn the wall of the modern clubhouse in sight of Blackrock Castle, but none more relevant than North End star and former Cork City midfielder Alan Browne.
It was his transfer that piqued the interest of PNE, and Trabolgan owner, Trevor Hemmings, and as youngsters from Rangers, Carrigaline United and Castleview gathered to take part in the ‘Alan Browne’ Cup, representatives from both sides announced what they hoped would be a fruitful partnership.
Sadly Browne himself wasn’t in attendance yesterday afternoon; present, however, was current Preston schoolboy Adam O’Reilly.
The 16-year-old is one of the latest to make the move to Deepdale following an extensive underage career at the Mahon club, and like Browne before him has become a source of inspiration to those younger.
“It’s a bit strange alright when my name is said and the whole room turns around and looks at me,” joked O’Reilly, who is hoping to continue his prolific scoring rate in the local leagues cross-channel.
“It’s a new experience but I didn’t find it too difficult to settle in, obviously Alan Browne is there and there’s another Cork lad after coming over so we know how to have a bit of craic.”
“Nothing happens anywhere in the world without partnership,” Lord Mayor of Cork Des Cahill reminded those gathered, as Ringmahon sealed a deal which provides the Mahon club with new playing equipment and coaching opportunities, and they hope will provide more players like O’Reilly, Gearóid Morrissey, and Eric Grimes the opportunity to get their break across the water.