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Tuesday 16 January 2018

Jonathan (8) in a league of his own

Colin Gleeson

AN eight-year-old Irish boy has muscled his way into the top 10 players of a global online soccer game which has 1.8 million people taking part.

Little Jonathan Coady from Manorcunningham, Co Donegal, has astounded football anoraks with his skill in plotting the fortune's of Premier League players. Called Fantasy Football League, the internet game involves players using the names of real footballers with performance points allocated after each week of the season.

Friends, relatives and work colleagues organise leagues with their hand-picked teams and Jonathan's team ---"Johnnybest", named after George Best -- is currently fourth globally.

His dad Niall said yesterday: "We went on holidays to Belfast recently and we visited George Best's grave, and I think when he saw what was there -- the colours and the magic of the whole thing -- it had an influence on him.

"He wants to be like George Best now.

"We have videos of him here and we would have talked to him about how good a footballer he was so all that influenced him. But he took on the name himself."

Jonathan is the second youngest of four boys and Niall said while the whole family are "absolutely delighted" with him, he hasn't quite got his head around the achievement himself yet.

"He's very good at football and he knows all the players and what they're about. We think it must be a record for somebody at such a young age. He did it all on his own behalf and he got absolutely no help.

"It'll never happen to him again and I don' know how long he'll stay there, but it's very impressive even though there's only a week gone. We're contacting the organisers to see if it's a record since he's so young."

Irish Independent

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