TALENTED striker Mark O’Mahony has agreed to sign for Brighton & Hove Albion after a successful trial with the Premier League club.
He will move to England just five days after he turned 18, and he will play for the Seagulls U21s in Premier League 2.
City will be entitled to compensation for the teenager who is an academy graduate that signed a professional contract with the club in January 2022. He is the second player to move to England from Bishopstown this winter as goalkeeper David Harrington joined Fleetwood Town earlier this month.
O’Mahony will join a small Irish contingent at Brighton that includes Evan Ferguson and Jamie Mullins, who joined the Seagulls earlier this month from Bohemians in the League of Ireland. Brighton have a proven track record with signing and developing young Irish players given that they produced Aaron Connolly, Jayson Molumby, and Andrew Moran.
Carrigaline United, who first thought O’Mahony how to kick a ball, announced the deal and paid tribute to their protégé with a short statement.
It read: “The kid is special and he is at the best place to have his talent nurtured. Mark started out in our academy 13 years ago and through hard work commitment and an unbelievable attitude to improving himself he’s got his dream move to England to be a full-time professional footballer.
"Congratulations too to his parents Paul and Marian and of course his sister Sophie as well.”
The striker is one of the hottest prospects in Irish football at the moment and he was recently named U17 Player of the Year by the FAI.
His free-scoring abilities saw him get three goals in three games during a European Championships qualifying tournament in Cork back in October 2021.
O’Mahony has also featured for the U18s and U19s, with the latter appearance producing a hattrick against Gibraltar.
2022 saw the young striker step into Cork City’s first team and he made his senior debut as a substitute against Longford Town at Bishopsgate. O’Mahony finished the season with 9 appearances under Colin Healy and a First Division winners medal.
The move to Brighton will realise a lifelong dream for the teenager, that first began when he walked through the gates of Ballea Park as a four-year-old.
“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 toldin 2021.
O’Mahony’s transfer is another success story from the Cork City Academy as he follows Jake O’Brien at Crystal Palace, Alex Healy Byrne at Burnley, and Cathal Heffernan at AC Milan.