Thursday 17 October 2019

Gorey lads sign for UK soccer clubs

THEIR fathers grew up playing soccer together on the green in Sean O'Byrne Park, and now two young soccer players have become the first from Gorey to sign contracts for English clubs.

The first to sign was Conor Levingston from Sean Doire, who initially signed a provisional contract with Wolverhampton Wanderers a year-and-a-half ago, and went over to the UK for a few months at a time. Now that he has turned 16, the former Gorey Rangers player has signed a three-year contract with Wolves, and has moved to the UK to play with the club's U18 squad.

Another former Gorey Rangers player, 16-year-old Mikey Quigley from Millbrook, has just signed with Carlisle United, and also has moved to the UK to live. Before Rangers, Mikey played with Gorey Celtic, and spent the last two seasons with St. Joseph's in Sallynoggin.

Mikey's father Eugene, and Conor's father James grew up on the same street in Sean O'Byrne Park in Gorey, and they're both delighted to see their sons do so well. 'Conor's over the moon,' said James Levingston. 'We knew this was coming as they made their first approach when he was 14, but he couldn't sign until he was 16.'

Both Conor and Mikey were in Transition Year in Gorey Community School, and their schooling will continue on a part-time basis, as they devote their energies to their clubs.

Mikey's mother Melissa explained that he was offered the contract two months ago, and he has now gone to Carlisle, and is staying in digs with other team mates. 'It's all he ever wanted to do,' she said.

'Since he was two years old, he was attached to a ball.' She added that his grandparents live close to Carlisle so he will be able to visit them at weekends.

'It was emotional saying goodbye but we're absolutely delighted for him,' she added.

For James and Caroline Levingston, it was also difficult seeing Conor move to the UK permanently, even though he has been over and back regularly. 'We've gotten used to it now,' said James. 'It was a little bit harder this time because he can't come home when he wants but that's the sacrifice you make.'

'When myself and Eugene were playing soccer on the green in Sean O'Byrne Park, we might have thought we were as good as the two young lads, but I don't think we were.'

Conor is off to Hungary in a few weeks' time to play with the Ireland U17 squad.

Enniscorthy Guardian