Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave Irish football fans something to smile about over the weekend after discussing the inclusion of Dubliner Conor Masterson in his mid-season training camp in La Manga.
The former Lucan United schoolboy is highly rated by the Liverpool youth coaches and was made captain of the club’s Under-18 this season. He was named on the bench by Klopp last year for a FA Cup clash against Exeter City and is clearly still on the German coach’s thinking.
“I knew them both from training with us already,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo.
“I also spoke with Pep (Lijnders, the first-team development coach) and it was a logical decision.
“We could have taken Rhian Brewster or a few other guys, but Yan Dhanda and Conor Masterson are the next boys.
“We needed two players and we decided on Yan and Conor.
“I know all of the boys and that’s really cool. It’s a good group. They have worked well, really good attitude. Yan and Conor have fitted in well.”
Masterson, 18, is a regular for the Republic of Ireland at youth level and captained Tom Mohan’s Under-17 at the Uefa U17 Championship in 2015.
He was recently named in Mohan’s U19 squad, along with Liverpool team-mate Caoimhín Kelleher, for a friendly tournament which was also held in La Manga, captaining the team in their defeat to Norway and their win over Portugal.