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Ian Lawlor Factfile

John Fallon

Published 26/05/2014 | 02:30

* His first schoolboy club was St Malachy's in Edenmore. From there, he was snapped up by Home Farm and, while there, he caught the eye of Manchester City scout Mick Collins.

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* Ian caught the goalkeeper's bug from his father John, who was an accomplished stopper himself at junior level. Together they would practice over and above the training schedule Ian was following for club and country. Much of their tips came from studying videos of German legend Oliver Kahn.

* He was only second-choice goalkeeper for Ireland up until U-19 level. Donegal's Joe Coll, who is now back home after a spell with Manchester United, was first choice from the age of 14.

* Shay Given was City's No 1 when Lawlor signed in 2010 and smoothed the newcomer's entrance. The club's limitless resources mean he's faced competition at every level since, most recently from Angus Gunn for whom they paid Norwich City €250,000.

* Lawlor has developed a close bond with Joe Hart over the last 18 months. The England goalkeeper even recommended the young Irishman to the agency (Stellar) that represents him. Consequently, Lawlor's affairs are now handled by a company that boasts a glittering client list, amongst them Gareth Bale.

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