Saturday 20 October 2018

Joe (16) signs for Man United

Paddy Clancy

A TINY village in the Gaeltacht is on cloud nine after Manchester United signed a local teenager for a three-year deal as a goalkeeper.

Joe Coll, who turned 16 last month, signed on the dotted line last Saturday with manager Alex Ferguson.

He has already appeared on Ireland under-age teams and is tipped to be the third goalkeeper from Donegal to be the number one choice for the senior national team after Packie Bonner and Shay Given.

Joe, who is six-foot-one-and-a-half-inches tall, heads off to Old Trafford on Sunday for a full medical.

Arrangements are being made to continue his schooling after he joins the club full-time on July 5.

But yesterday he was still at school at Pobalscoil Chloich Cheannfhaola, Falcarragh, where he is in fourth year.

Dad Tom, a FAS-scheme youth worker with Joe's Glenea United team in the Donegal Youth League, said: "The whole area is very excited but young Joe still has his feet very much on the ground."

Tom, a 49-year-old former striker, won an FAI Junior Cup medal in 1979.

Several UK clubs approached Joe in recent years after he was spotted by a Charlton scout playing in an under-13 competition in Limerick.

Arsenal, Chelsea, Wolves, Newcastle, Spurs, Manchester City and Celtic showed interest, but Alex Ferguson convinced him his future lay at United.

"He wished me good luck and success and he told me they were not signing me just for the sake of signing me but one day to become the number one at the club."

Irish Independent

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