Former Aghyaran St Davog's footballer Conor Bradley earned the praise of manager Jurgen Klopp after he made his first senior start for Liverpool in last night's Carabao Cup third round tie against Norwich City.
With Trent Alexander-Arnold and Neco Williams both unavailable, the 18-year-old defender from Tyrone caught the eye on the right flank as the Reds recorded a 0-3 win at Carrow Road.
Having been called up to the Liverpool first team during the summer and handed his debut off the bench in a pre-season friendly after starring in the club's academy, Bradley had more touches than anyone else on the pitch.
A clubmate of Tyrone All-Ireland winning full-back Ronan McNamee, the youngster became the first Northern Ireland player to feature in a competitive game for Liverpool since Sammy Smyth in 1954.
"We saw Conor Bradley and I heard before the game he was the first Northern Irish player (to play a competitive game for Liverpool) since 1954. It sounds too long to be honest," Klopp said.
"If somebody would have told me that before, I would have brought him (in) probably earlier.
"It is a great, great thing and he played a super game."
Bradley lined out for Aghyaran St Davog's at underage level before concentrating on his soccer career which has gone from strength to strength.
He started playing soccer at his local club St Patrick's before joining Dungannon Swifts and then signing a professional contract at Anfield in 2019 while he also made his senior competitive debut for Northern Ireland back in May at 17!
Aghyaran posted a picture on Twitter which showed Bradley being presented with a St Davog’s jersey by club chairman Sean Byrne as he headed off to Liverpool two years ago.
Everyone at Aghyaran GAC are filled with immense pride tonight with Conor Bradley making his full professional debut with @LFC in tonight’s 3-0 win V Norwich.— Aghyaran St Davogs GFC (@AghyaranGFC) September 21, 2021
Conor played with the same determination + quality that he showcased so consistently in our club colours. 🟢🟡🏐🔴 #YNWA pic.twitter.com/E8m1BGtfSd