McCarthy should consider taking Parrott under his wing - Dunne
Richard Dunne is hopeful that Ireland's progress in the European U-19 Championships can herald the beginning of a brighter future.
And the former centre-half reckons his old boss Mick McCarthy might just trust in Tottenham star Troy Parrott as the man for the present.
Parrott is one of a dozen players absent from Armenia where Tom Mohan's men have advanced to the final four in Europe.
Dunne won a European U-18 title under Brian Kerr back in 1998 and fears this group may, one day, reflect on what might have been with a full hand available, but suspensions have depleted them further for tomorrow's semi-final with Portugal.
However, he believes that the exploits of Mohan's side - a good number of whom are eligible at U-17 level - bodes well and is in line with recent improvements in that department.
"The results and performances over recent years seem to lend people to believe that we can start to achieve things again," said Dunne yesterday. "I worked with the U-16 side last year and you can see the talent is coming through.
"We seem to have game-winning players and creative players. It seems to be the start of something positive now."
Parrott is in that bracket. He is out of Armenia with good reason as Mauricio Pochettino has included him in the Spurs first team for their pre-season plans.
And there is a possibility that Ireland senior manager Mick McCarthy, and assistant Robbie Keane, may turn to Parrott come the autumn.
"It's a position that we're lacking," says Dunne. "We want more goals in the team.
"If you look at what Wales did a few years ago and just threw in a load of young kids and did really well. They started to get them to develop into first-team players.
"We can't wait forever for kids to become first-team regulars before they play for Ireland.
"If they're nearly first-team squad members at Premier League clubs, they won't be a million miles off our first team.
"We have probably been missing a centre-forward over the last couple of years in the national senior side and he seems to be coming now - be it Troy or the other guys at under age level."
Dunne also referenced Adam Idah, the Norwich striker, who missed out on the championships in Armenia after receiving a new four-year deal with the Carrow Road side who are back in the Premier League.