DUBLIN teenager Robert Brady is in contention to make his senior debut for Manchester United in tonight's Carling Cup tie with Wolves at Old Trafford.
The winger is highly rated by Alex Ferguson and his staff, and has shaken off persistent injury problems to get a run of games in the reserves and progress to the fringes of the first team picture.
A delegation of friends and family are making the trip to Manchester today in anticipation of Brady's senior bow after the youngster was given an indication that he could be involved.
The St Kevin's Boys graduate has long been tipped for the top, and turned down the advances of a host of Premier League clubs to choose the Red Devils.
He trains with the first team squad on a regular basis and has recently made a step forward with his country by making his U-21 debut. The 18-year-old also helped Paul Doolin's U-19 side qualify for the elite phase of the European Championships with a goalscoring contribution in Bulgaria earlier this month.
Brady arrived at Old Trafford in 2008 and immediately impressed, but spent almost seven months on the sidelines last season.
Manchester United reserve manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently earmarked Brady as a player to watch now that he has overcome his injury woes.
"He came to our club two years ago and went straight into the reserves, which is unusual," said Solsjkaer. "But then last season he had a torrid time with loads of injuries that really restricted him and his development.
"This year, I've got him through pre-season with no injuries. He's got a very good left foot, and he's Irish so he's a very a good competitor. He's enthusiastic, he's quick and although he's not a big lad -- he's probably my size -- he wins more or less everything in the air.
"We've just got to work on his fitness and, if we can get him super fit ,then he'll be a very, very good player."
If Brady does figure, then it would represent another boost for the future of Irish football in a week where two other promising teenagers took positive steps.
Manchester City's Greg Cunningham and Chelsea's Conor Clifford secured loan moves to Leicester and Plymouth respectively, and both played 90 minutes of league action at the weekend with a view to gaining experience before returning to their parent clubs.
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