CARRIGALINE soccer star Eva Mangan will be part of the Irish U15 schools’ soccer team that will take part in the Bob Docherty Cup tournament in Salou, Spain next month.
Eva, a star for Carrigaline, and the Cork Gaynor squad has been playing with her local side for the past 10 years starting with the academy.
She has worked her way up through the ranks making representative teams and starring in her midfield role, however, her recent selection for the Irish international squad has been the highlight to date for the talented 14-year-old.
Mangan came to the attention of the international managers through her performances for the Munster U15 schools team.
Her athleticism and skill is a joy to watch as she glides her way around the pitch and because of this, she now finds herself been watched by the international teams as well as the schools.
As well as been part of the U15 squad, Mangan has been called for trials for the U16 squad and that’s a huge testament to her talent and ability.
A second-year student at Carrigaline Community School, Mangan is the only representative from Cork, with four players from Limerick making the total Munster selection of just five, with the remainder of the squad from the Leinster region.
The tournament will take place in Salou in April and with the excitement of playing for the Irish schools’ team, it will also be Mangan’s first time on a plane and a first time visiting Spain, so a huge occasion all round in which I’m sure Mangan will make the most of.
The past few weeks have seen Mangan prepare for the tournament with regular trips to the FAI headquarters in Abbotstown to train.
She is loving the experience and tells us how it felt putting on the Irish jersey for the very first time.
“It was a real honour to wear the Irish jersey and represent my country,” said Mangan.
“I was just thrilled, to be honest and couldn’t believe I was playing for my country. Making the Munster schools team was the beginning for me and that in itself was a huge honour for me also.
“I was delighted to be picked to play for Munster and I also knew a lot of the girls from the Cork team. It was a brilliant experience and I really enjoyed every bit of it.
“The tournament itself with regards to results didn’t go our way but nonetheless it was a fantastic experience and great to be part of.
“From here I was selected to try out for the Irish team and I am thrilled to be selected for the final panel of 18. We played against Northern Ireland. I started the game wearing the number eight jersey.
“It was a great occasion and I can’t wait to play more games. For the tournament in Salo,u we will get to play Gibraltar, England and Wales which is really exciting.”
Mangan is also currently on trial for the U16 squad which hasn’t been finalised yet, however, she hopes she can continue to impress and see where that takes her.
“It’s been great going up for trials with the 16 squad as it has given me a lot of experience and confidence.
“It’s very much similar to the U15 set up so it was easier for me to adapt. I hope I can do well in the tournament in Salou and I hope I can do enough to impress for the International managers.
“I’m enjoying my football at the moment. It’s great to see such a great pathway now for girls in the game.
“The National League is a great incentive for kids to do well. I would hope to play with Cork City in the near future.
“It’s where I believe girls who have a desire to play at the top, should play.
“Playing with and against quality players on a regular basis is certainly going to improve my game and that is what I would like to do.
“There are a lot of quality players in Cork and I hope more of them can get recognition in the near future.
“But for me, I am going to continue to work hard and I look forward to enjoying the experience of playing with the Irish school’s team next month.
“It’s a great honour for me and my family who are always so supportive at all my training sessions and games.”