Interview by James Donnelly
At the tender age of only 17 years old, local lad Aodh Dervin made his home league debut last Saturday night at City Calling Stadium. Replacing Town Captain Kevin O'Connor, Aodh came on in the 81st minute during a 5-0 thrashing of Wexford FC. I sat down with him to ask about how the big moment felt.
“Yeah it felt very good! I wasn't expecting it all and it shows hard work gets you places. Hopefully the first of many league appearances”
Aodh rose through the ranks of the recently redeveloped underage system at the club, captaining the U19 squad which he is still currently a member of. When asked about the step up from U19 to Senior level, he said:
“It's hard work to get to the level of where you want to be. I was lucky that everyone helped me and have been great to me since I made the step up.”
Aodh, alongside Dan Beya and Tristan Noack-Hofmann are 3 of the youngest in the first team this year.
“They have all been a huge help. Tristan brings me to training and has helped me adapt from going up and down from the 19s to the Seniors and how to keep my head.”
When asked what Senior players help him the most, he replied:
“I pick up a lot from Dean Zambra, Kealan Dillon and Paul Skinner. They're good with me. They'll let me know when I'm wrong and tell me what to do. Gaz (Gary Cronin) is great too. He's very good to talk to.”
Showing his maturity and perhaps not wanting to leave the squad out, he then said:
“I pick up pieces of information off everyones game to help me improve more and more.”
Before the likes of Aodh, Dan Beya and Tristan Noack-Hofmann, the last local to line out for the Red and Black was Michael Lee. When asked about the lack of local talent in the squad and if it was down to management, Aodh said:
“It's in your own hands, I feel it's about how hard you work. There's a lot of locals coming through that are well able if they keeping working hard, stay committed and do it for themselves.”
Finally, I asked Aodh if he had any advice for local players or anyone looking to break through and sign for the first team;
“What I've picked up, is that you'll be more respected for working as hard as you can and take up the pieces of information that are useful for you as a player”.
Plain and simple. Work hard and earn your spot. Aodh has certainly done that.
With the likes of Aodh, Dan and Tristan showing that there is room for locals if they put the hard work in, accompanied with the restructuring of LTFC's underage system, the future is bright for Longford football.