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Teenage son of Olympians Rob and Marian Heffernan to train with Serie A giants including Juventus

Cathal Heffernan has the chance to impress Roma, Atalanta and AC Milan too, as Brexit forces Irish youngsters to broaden their horizons.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND U15 international Cathal Heffernan – son of Olympic athletes Rob and Marian – is heading to Italy to train with Serie A giants Juventus, Atalanta, AC Milan, and Roma. 

Heffernan, a central defender, is on the books with Cork City’s U17s, and Douglas Community School today tweeted their best wishes. 

Heffernan is 16 next month, and hitherto might have been expected to tread the well-worn path to sessions and trials with British clubs, but new post-Brexit rules forbid Irish youngsters from making those transfers until they turn 18. 

Irish players are allowed to move from the age of 16 to clubs within the EU, with Shamrock Rovers’ starlet Kevin Zefi perhaps setting an early example of what is to come in agreeing a move to Inter Milan later this year. 

Rob Heffernan competed at five separate Olympic Games and won a bronze medal at London 2012 – he finished fourth but was subsequently upgraded to the podium after the race winner failed an anti-doping test – while Marian ran for Ireland 4 × 400 metres relay at the same Games. 


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Gavin Cooney

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