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Dublin: 10°C Friday 16 April 2021

All you know about the Ireland goalkeeper selected in Man United's Europa League squad

Kieran O’Hara is part of the 20-man group that has travelled to face Rostov.

Kieran O'Hara (file pic).
Kieran O'Hara (file pic).
Image: EMPICS Sport

AFTER KIERAN O’HARA was selected as part of Man United’s 20-man Europa League squad to face Rostov, we take a look at the young goalkeeper’s background…

  • Manchester-born O’Hara declared for Ireland last year and was subsequently called up to the U21 squad.
  • The 20-year-old will feature as back-up for David de Gea and Sergio Romero ahead of this week’s game in Russia.
  • O’Hara, who qualifies to play for Ireland through his Galway-born grandparents, has regularly featured for the Red Devils’ U21 side this season.
  • A former English Schools FA U18 international, he caught the attention of Ireland U21 boss Noel King during a loan spell at League Two side Morecombe.
  • O’Hara still has Irish-based relatives and is a Galway GAA fan. Speaking about his Irish connections to the FAI’s official website last September, he said: “My Dad’s aunt is still living in Galway and we’d always go to visit her when I was younger. She lives on a farm. I’d always have a Galway GAA shirt as well when I was a kid.”
  • Declaring for Ireland was something he’d considered for a while: “I always thought about the possibility of declaring for Ireland and my Dad was always keen for me to do so. We’d have a bit of banter about the England or Ireland thing but it was always something I knew was possible and to get the call from Noel was an honour.”

Manchester United Training and Press Conference - Aon Training Complex (From left to right) Manchester United goalkeepers Sam Johnstone, David De Gea and Kieran O'Hara during a training session at the Aon Training Complex last November. Source: Peter Byrne

  • He is a big admirer of Man United teammate and fellow goalkeeper David de Gea: “In my opinion David de Gea is one of if not the best goalkeepers in the world right now so to get to see him every day and to get the privilege to train with him sometimes and learn from him can only improve me as a goalkeeper.”
  • It is not the first time he has been included in a first-team squad. O’Hara also featured in the United squad for the Europa League match with Saint Etienne, travelling to France though failing to make the matchday squad.
  • In addition to his stint Morecambe last year, he also spent time on loan at Stockport County in 2015, a year after signing a professional contract with the Red Devils, having been with the club since the age of eight.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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