Talented teenager Lee Jay Lynch considers his options

TALENTED Limerick teenager Lee Jay Lynch is considering attractive offers from the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain and Cypriot First Division side Doxa after his time with the Premier League's West Bromwich Albion came to an end in recent weeks.

Eighteen-year-old Lynch will decide in the coming weeks whether to continue his promising football career at the renowned Glenn Hoddle Academy in Jerez, Spain or sign a two-year contract with Cypriot First Division side Doxa, based in Nicosia.

The standard of football in Cypriot's top flight has improved significantly in recent seasons and the country's UEFA Champions League representatives, Apoel reached the group stages of last season's competition when their impressive run of results included an eye-catching 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Founded in 1954, Doxa play their home games at the impressive 14,500 capacity Makario Athletic Centre.

Former Regional United winger Lynch said he had enjoyed his two-year stint with West Brom, although his first season had been hampered severely by injury.

"Overall, my time with West Brom was good. My first year there was a bit of a disaster though because I seemed to be injured all year. I was called up for the Irish under-19 side, but unfortunately I was injured again," Lee Jay Lynch said.

"In my second season at West Brom, I felt I did really well. I played 18 to 20 reserve league games.

"I had expected to get a professional contract, but it didn't happen. The club felt I needed another year of development, really. They didn't feel I was ready for first team football. I loved my time with West Brom. It was brilliant.

"Now I have got offers from Europe it is exciting.

"I got a phone call from Glenn Hoddle saying he wanted to sign me for his Spanish reserve team. They are based in Spain.

"A club in Cyprus wants me for a two-year professional contract. I am going to have to sit down with my family to discuss things.

"Glenn Hoddle has his own reserve academy in Jerez.

"He scouts players from England to go over and play there in a reserve league.

"He has links with Real Sociedad and Sevilla. He said he would like to get me into one of those clubs within a couple of months. That is where he makes his money.

"The offer from Cyprus is with a fully professional club who want me on a two-year deal. There was also some telephone interest from Crewe Alexandra, Sheffield Wednesday and Falkirk.

"Right now, I am probably edging towards the Cyprus offer, the chance to train with the first team.

"But I probably won't make up my mind until the start of July. I have to let them know my decision then. I am home for the summer now and will train away."

The former Irish under-17 international, who won two All-Ireland senior soccer titles with Limerick CBS, is from Carey's Road.

Son of Robert and Ann Lynch, he is the third generation of the family to gain football prominence. Lee Jay's grandfather Tommy Lynch was an outstanding midfield player with local club Caledonians while his uncle, also Tom, played with Sunderland, Shrewsbury, Gillingham, Limerick FC and Waterford United. He also managed the latter two clubs.

Glenn Hoddle and his Academy coaching team of Graham Rix, Nigel Spackman, Dave Beasant and chief scout George Foster identify young talented players who have been released by Premier League or Championship clubs and invite them to Spain for a year of development work. The aim is to get the young players back into professional football, a service for which the Academy charge a development fee.


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