It’s not every day a local Ardee soccer player turns out for Manchester United. But that didn’t stop Kian Leavy turning in a performance for the Red Devils at the prestigious Northern Ireland Super Cup on Monday evening.
The 15-year-old was a substitute as Manchester United beat Chilean side Colina 3-0 in Portstewart in their opening fixture of the junior Section of the annual tournament that features club and international teams from across the globe. The diminutive playmaker turned in an impressive show when he took to the field – but the match was abandoned six minutes from time as spectator needs urgent medical attention.
Kian, who lives in Funshog and who has just completed third year at Ardee Community School, is a Republic of Ireland Under 15 international and earlier this year travelled to the Netherlands for a series of friendly games with the Oranje. The youngster plays his club football for St Francis Boys in the Dublin & District Schoolboys League – and has impressed coaches at all levels sufficiently to be invited to turn out for the Red Devils up north.
In January, Kian enjoyed a training session with Republic of Ireland legends Robbie Keane and Damien Duff at the FAI HQ in Abbotstown. Duff is a member of Jason Donoghue’s Under 15 coaching set up.
Two goals from Teden Menji and one from Anthony Elanga ensured United’s youngsters got off to the best possible start at the tournament. Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Jonny Evans, Darron Gibson, Gary Neville and Marcus Rashford are among the Red Devils’ academy graduates who have previously lined out in the competition, formerly known as the Milk Cup.
Picture by Brian Little/PressEye.