Saturday 17 August 2019

Irish youngster Mark Travers marks winning Premier League debut for Bournemouth with man of the match performance

Bournemouth's English goalkeeper Mark Travers (R) saves a shot from Tottenham Hotspur's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura (unseen) during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on May 4, 2019. (Photo Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Bournemouth's English goalkeeper Mark Travers (R) saves a shot from Tottenham Hotspur's Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura (unseen) during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Tottenham Hotspur at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on May 4, 2019. (Photo Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Republic of Ireland youngster Mark Travers turned in a man of the match performance after he was handed a surprise Premier League debut for Bournemouth against Tottenham.

The ex-Shamrock Rovers teenager made an instant impression with a string of impressive first-half saves in what he described as an "unbelievable" debut.

Travers, 19, was included in Mick McCarthy's Ireland squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers in March and earned his first-team chance after making a big impression straining with the Bournemouth first team.

"We rate him very highly,” Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe told Sky Sports. "He's a great character. He’s got a great attitude. Very good goalkeeper, huge potential. This is a chance for him to show what he can do."

At 19 years and 351 days, Travers is the first teenage goalkeeper to start a Premier League game since Joe Hart in October 2006 and this could be an audition or Travers to land the Bournemouth keepers' jersey on a regular basis, with experienced duo Asmir Begovic and Arter Boruc expected to move on this summer.

Travers was nearly beaten by a shot unleashed by Lucas Moura from the half-way line as he was caught off his line in the opening exchanges, before his started to show his class with a series of saves to deny Tottenham.

Moura and Dele Alli were twice denied by the former Cherry Orchard and Shamrock Rovers starlet, as he justified his selection with some eye-catching stops.

With Spurs being reduced to nine men following red cards for Son Heung-min and Juan Foyth on either side of half-time, Travers had a far quieter second half but stayed solid to keep his clean sheet before Nathan Ake finally sealed the points for Bournemouth with a stoppage-time header.

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