In a city that produced goalkeeping greats such as Gordon Banks, Bob Wilson, and John Lukic, Chesterfield became a potential starting point for an Irish stopper.
Jimmy Corcoran may be just 16 and still officially a home-based player, but the controversy in which he found himself mired on Monday evening while playing for Ireland’s U17s has broadened his name beyond these shores.
By last night, over 1m viewers had watched his two minutes of fame. As his father Noel admitted, getting sent off during a penalty shoot-out was an unfortunate career launcher for the Meath teen.
Corcoran, of course, was the victim of an unprecedented decision, at least at underage level, in the European Championship quarter-final.
Already on a booking for time-wasting just moments before Holland scored the lead goal against him, he incurred another in the most unforeseen circumstances, with encroaching from the goal-line during a penalty deemed a bookable offence, to widespread surprise.
Corcoran had to be consoled by Ireland senior boss Martin O’Neill and the FAI wrapped the 16-year-old in cotton wool away from media duties, both at the match and when he landed back at Dublin Airport yesterday.
Last night, the Cherry Orchard stopper broke his silence to recognise the infringement and punishment were justified, technically.
“As the dust settles on last night’s events, I would like to thank everyone for their support” he tweeted. “My teammates, family, friends and many in the sporting world have been unbelievable. Now it is time to accept that, although as cruel a blow as it was, the decision was correct. We will move on and learn from it to become stronger by playing the game and not the occasion.”
Corcoran was a wild card into the squad, never mind the team. It was only in February’s friendly against Turkey that he linked up with the squad a year above his age-group. When Shamrock Rovers custodian Kian Clarke suffered a foot injury, Corcoran was propelled into competitive action against Belgium in the first Group C game 10 days ago.
After keeping two clean sheets in the four matches at the finals, he’ll take a short rest before making his move into the professional ranks.
Preston North End were delighted to announce yesterday the capture of their first-year scholar amid competition from other suitors.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved