Cork City rising star Mark O'Mahony on trial with Brighton

O'Mahony has been a prolific scorer for Ireland at underage level
Cork City rising star Mark O'Mahony on trial with Brighton

Mark O'Mahony has already shown he can score goals at a high level. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

CORK City’s Mark O’Mahony on trial with Brighton & Hove Albion Cork City striker Mark O’Mahony is currently on trial with Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion.

Should the 18-year-old sign for the club, the Rebel Army will be entitled to compensation as he is an academy graduate who has played regular first-team football.

The striker, who once lined out for Carrigaline United, has been slowly making his name known with City and various Republic of Ireland underage squads.

He even scored three goals in three appearances for the Ireland U17s during a qualifying tournament in Cork back in 2021.

The FAI even named O’Mahony U17 Player of the Year in 2022 after he scored six goals in 10 appearances at that level.

By claiming that award, he joined a long list of previous winners that includes Declan Rice, Jack Grealish, and fellow Cork native Adam Idah.

O’Mahony has also featured for the U18s and U19s, with the latter appearance producing a hattrick against Gibraltar.

He signed his first professional contract with Cork City in January 2022 and he made his senior debut six months later as a substitute against Longford Town at Bishopsgate. The striker finished the season with 9 appearances for the senior team and a First Division winners medal.

Should be complete a move to Brighton, O’Mahony will achieve a lifelong dream that began when he first kicked a ball at Ballea Park.

“I started out with my local club Carrigaline at the age of four, and from a very early age, the dream was to play professionally in the Premier League, and that is still very much the focus,” he told The Echo in 2021.

Cork City's Barry Coffey celebrates a goal with Cian Bargary, Kevin O'Connor and Mark O'Mahony. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork City's Barry Coffey celebrates a goal with Cian Bargary, Kevin O'Connor and Mark O'Mahony. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The current focus on O’Mahony is another success story for the Cork City Academy as a number of players have moved to top clubs from Bishopstown in recent years.

TREND

Jake O’Brien, a graduate of the club’s U17s and U19s, started this trend by signing for Crystal Palace. The defender first joined the Premier League side on loan and that deal was made permanent in August 2021.

He was followed by Cathal Heffernan, who joined Italian giants AC Milan on loan in early 2022. That deal was made permanent in the summer and the defender recently captained one of the Rossoneri’s youth teams.

Alex Healy Byrne then joined Burnley and goalkeeper David Harrington moved to EFL League One side Fleetwood Town in January 2023.

The potential transfer of O’Mahony to Brighton is interesting as it is another move involving the Premier League club and a young Irish footballer.

They already have Evan Ferguson playing regularly with their first team, and he once lined out for Bohemians in the League of Ireland. Earlier this month, Brighton signed 18-year-old Jamie Mullins from Bohemians for an undisclosed fee.

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