'I can play at any level if I'm called' - Troy Parrott confident he's ready for senior bow
He is the man in demand, the young player who everyone in Irish football wants a piece of. And Troy Parrott, who marked his debut for the Ireland under 21 side with the only goal of the game in a European Championship qualifying win over Armenia in his native Dublin on Friday night, says he's ready to play for anyone, if required.
"I can play at any level, if I'm called up to any level, I'll be ready," Parrott said.
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He will be in the spotlight this weekend as McCarthy was in Tallaght Stadium on Friday night to watch Parrott score, the ex-Belvedere lad one of the stand-out players alongside Aaron Connolly, Gavin Kilkenny and the impressive captain Jayson Molumby.
Due to the withdrawal of Callum Robinson and David McGoldrick, McCarthy has just two strikers in his senior squad for Tuesday's friendly at home to Bulgaria, one of them (Scott Hogan) has yet to score at international level and the other (James Collins) is uncapped.
McCarthy said on Friday that he would not call anyone else in, though a case could be made for giving the 17-year-old a taste of senior football. Parrott's name in the squad list would certainly sell a few more tickets for the Bulgaria match.
But Stephen Kenny wants Parrott on board for an under 21 qualifier away to Sweden on Tuesday night. Kenny joked, "We're on an early fight, I better switch my phone off," in case McCarthy tried to call Parrott up.
Parrott could have played for three Ireland underage sides in recent months as he was eligible for the under 17s for the Euro finals, which were held in Ireland; for the under 19s in their appearance at the Euro finals in Armenia in July; and for the under 21s, with the senior squad next up the ladder.
"In my mind, I'm going to Sweden and hopefully getting another three points, but if anything changes, it's good for me either way," Parrott said of a possible call from McCarthy.
He's also keen to progress at club level. He had a boost in pre-season, playing in a number of friendly games for Spurs, with the clash against Real Madrid the stand-out.
"It was unbelievable, a great experience, to play against big, big teams, big players, it's a great experience for me. I learnt a lot, hopefully I can just keep improving again," says Parrott, who has been named in the Spurs squad for their opening game in the Champions League.
"It's another great achievement but I haven't done anything in the professional game yet. I'm still starting. It's good for the confidence that the gaffer puts me in there, but I'm just going to keep pushing on and keep improving," Parrott says.
"It's good to come in for the debut and score. I'm a little bit disappointed, I could have had maybe two or three but just happy I got the goal and we got the win," he says of the 1-0 win over Armenia.
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