Monday 26 September 2016

Naturally gifted Forrester has earned chance to punish doubters

Published 31/08/2015 | 02:30

Forrester's departure will leave a void at St Patrick’s Athletic but when they signed the Smithfield lad, they knew this day was likely
Forrester's departure will leave a void at St Patrick’s Athletic but when they signed the Smithfield lad, they knew this day was likely

The news that Chris Forrester has signed for Peterborough United on a three-year deal represents a welcome break for one of the most entertaining League of Ireland players of his generation.

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His departure will leave a void at St Patrick's Athletic but when they signed the Smithfield lad, they knew this day was likely. In truth, it could have happened long before now.

It feels like Forrester has been around for ever when he only turns 23 later this year. Perhaps that's because the natural footballer, who learned to love the game on the street and only tried competitive football in his mid-teens, has been the subject of cross-channel speculation since he burst onto the League of Ireland scene as a teenager at Bohs.

Hearing reports of his prodigious ability, clubs have flocked to watch only to express reservations about his size and physicality and decide to hold off. Wes Hoolahan, who left these shores at 23 for the unglamorous surroundings of Livingston, could relate to the pitfalls of that negative mindset.

Emulating Hoolahan is a lofty target for Forrester who does have areas where he can improve, but one hopes that Peterborough are rewarded for taking the chance. If management can find the room to allow Forrester shine, then his cult following will quickly grow.

We don't produce an abundance of technically gifted players but he is a welcome exception. Let's hope his story is only beginning.

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