Diane meets up with Beckham and Figo...
A BALBRIGGAN teenager looks set to become a real star of the Irish soccer world and has already got the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of David Beckham and Luis Figo no less!Diane Caldwell was part of the Irish under 19 team at the Womens European Qualifiers in Spain recently and while there, played an international at Real Madrids training ground.
A BALBRIGGAN teenager looks set to become a real star of the Irish soccer world – and has already got the chance to rub shoulders with the likes of David Beckham and Luis Figo no less!
Diane Caldwell was part of the Irish under 19 team at the Women’s European Qualifiers in Spain recently and while there, played an international at Real Madrid’s training ground.
And the local Real players happened to be on hand and naturally attracted some interest.
‘David Beckham was there but he was very shy and just laughed as we surrounded him,’ Diane remarks. ‘Figo was very nice and chatted away and Thomas Graveson was the best of all. He talked for ages and wanted to know all about us and the teams. He said he might try and make one of our games but didn’t in the end. He asked where could he buy a ticket!’
The Real stars probably didn’t realise what company they were in – a Fingal lady who has 18 caps already for the Irish under 17 and 19 teams – and she still has quite a while to go before she even enters both grades officially.
She has captained Ireland and figures in a midfield role for much of the time.
‘I would probably be one of the youngest in the Ireland set up but I’m really enjoying it,’ she states.
With the club season on the way, she will be doing a lot of training both with her club, Raheny, and Ireland.
She has been part of the Irish set up for a couple of years, making her debut for the Irish under 17 team in Belgium when she was just 14.
She became involved thanks to sound advice from Claire Scanlon from Rush and Dermot Kilmurray. The rest was history.
The experienced Rush star plays with the Irish senior team and is attached to Bristol Rovers in England. She was the first Irish player to play in the Japanese Professional League in the 90s.
Professionalism is something Diane would adore – if she gets the chance.
‘I’m in Fifth Year at Mount Temple and I’ll have the Leaving next year so it’s going to be busy,’ she admits.
All going well, a University role in the United States would be an option or perhaps playing in Britain, something many of the Irish girls have done.
Her favourite player is Roy Keane or Ronaldo so, surprise, surprise, her favourite team is Manchester United.