DESPITE the uncertainty about whether or not schools should re-open during this lockdown and whether or not the Leaving Certificate should proceed as normal, Éabha O’Mahony has already secured her place at a prestigious university.
“I’m excited for our campus and our community to get to know her,” admits Jason Lowe, who will coach O’Mahony when she joins the Boston College Eagles this summer.
“We have a big Irish fan base here and I had friends bugging me wondering when am I going to recruit some Irish players.
“I keep telling them we have a good one coming so she is going to be a pretty popular player in Boston!”
O’Mahony had been in contact with a number of colleges as she searched for the ideal opportunity to continue her studies while playing at a high level.
Having swapped emails, tracked her progress with both City and Ireland, which included sending his assistant to watch her play for the U19s against Russia in Spain last March, and a number of Zoom calls, Lowe convinced the 18-year-old and her family that Boston College was the place for her.
“You would think we were after finding a hidden gem but because of her profile a lot of colleges knew about her.
“I think it came down to us and two or three other schools — one in California. Her family had lived here about 10 years ago so that helped and we definitely used that to our advantage.
“Academically we’re one of the top 30 schools in the country. I know the academics are really important to her parents so she can come over, get a great degree, and play at a high level.
“It’s going to be really great for her. The job opportunities she will have here and in Europe… so many doors will be open to her when she finishes up although I know she wants to play until her legs fall off.”
The hope now is that this global pandemic settles down and O’Mahony will be able to make the move across the Atlantic in July before beginning pre-season training with her new teammates in August.
That transfer will likely come midway through Cork City’s league campaign, but while Lowe confirms he will liaise with the Leesiders about this, he would like to work with the versatile youngster as soon as possible.
“She will be finishing up the league and competitions over there so we will accommodate that,” he admitted.
“Same with the national team, while she’s over here if she has a camp or a competition she needs to go back home for we totally support that.
“I think we both envision her as a left-back so that works out well, we will be in contact with the FAI and try to aline with their development plans for her.
“I watched the FAI Cup final and talked to her after and that scoreline didn’t represent the game I felt. But it didn’t change the fact she was absolutely gutted which shows me the type of competitor she is.
“She’s one of the final pieces that we needed. She’s already bugging me for specifics on how I want her to play and for film clips, which I sent her over the holidays. I’m excited about this team, we can make a run for the championship.
“The school sets them up for success so if they don’t put the work in and they don’t develop there’s not a lot of excuses other than their lack of desire, but I don’t see that being a problem for her.”
O’Mahony is set to become the first Irish player to represent Boston Eagles and she will be hoping to emulate the success her fellow Cork native Megan Connolly enjoyed with Florida State.
“I’m already texting her saying ‘Hey, who’s that player? This one looks interesting also’. There always has to be a first one to come over and she can then share her experience.
“I know that’s how it has worked before with Megan Connolly coming over, they seemed to have built a pipeline and I wouldn’t mind that either.
“Now I’m following all the FAI sites, I’ll be following it a lot more closely from now on. Hopefully, more players will come over."