A YOUNG County Limerick goalkeeper who caught the eye of English scouts has started a scholarship with Huddersfield Town.
Tadhg Ryan, aged 16, flew on Sunday to the championship club – the division just below the Premiership. But despite getting ready for his big move Tadhg took the time to say goodbye to youngsters at Cappamore Celtic FC.
Joe Diggins, secretary of Cappamore Celtic FC, said the children were thrilled to see their hero.
“We are all delighted for him. He did a question and answer session with the under 8s and at the end they waved goodbye,” said Joe.
As well as the talent, Joe says Tadhg has the personality to make it in England.
“He is not going over with great ideas about himself. He knows he has to go over there and put the work in. And he will, that’s the type he is,” said Joe, who adds that Tadhg hails from a talented Cappamore family with brother Michael and Shane Ryan also excellent players.
The three of them practiced together every chance they got and Shane is thrilled to see his younger brother get the once in a lifetime opportunity.
Shane, who oversees coaching at Cappamore Celtic and is involved with two teams at Limerick FC, said Tadhg’s scholarship is until 2015.
The former Scoil na Trionoide Naofa pupil will train full-time as well as continuing his education in England, which was very important to proud parents Sean and Joan.
“They are absolutely delighted for Tadhg. He is getting to do what he set out to do years ago. He is a great listener and loves constructive criticism – he thrives on it.
“When he makes a mistake his attitude is ‘I’m delighted I made that and I look forward to correcting it’.
“The family, and Tadhg especially, are very thankful to everyone who has contributed to his career,” said Shane.
And while many have played their part, Shane gives special praise to Eddie Hickey, Declan Farmer and Tommy Barrett.
Tadhg began with Cappamore Celtic FC who immediately saw his talent. When he was 13 he joined Fairview Rangers and Limerick FC’s goalkeeping academy headed up by Eddie Hickey.
“Eddie is an ex-professional goalie. He has been instrumental in Tadhg’s career, he has been coaching him for the last three years and taught him everything he knows,” said Shane.
The FAI emerging talent programme, headed up by Declan Farmer, also brought him on board. Tadhg spent two years with Fairview before joining Limerick FC.
“Cappamore Celtic knew he was a talent and they were happy to encourage him on to Fairview, who had the confidence in him to play him up the ages as well as his own age. His last game for Fairview was winning the under 18s cup final,” said Shane.
And after his brother joined Limerick FC, Shane says Declan Farmer and Eddie Hickey always trusted him and threw him in at higher level which has paid off.
Declan organised the Limerick FC u19 team tour to England and Huddersfield liked what they saw during a game. Still just 16, Tadhg is already over six foot tall, incredibly agile and covers the goal like a pro.
The family are looking forward to making many trips to Huddersfield to watch Tadhg’s development.